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BS490  .H52  1828  v.l 
Henry,  Matthew,  1662-1714. 
Exposition  of  the  Old  and 
New 

Testament . 


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EACH  CHAPTER  IS  SUMMED  UP  IN  ITS  CONTENTS ; THE  SACRED  TEXT  INSERTED 
AT  LARGE,  IN  DISTINCT  PARAGRAPHS ; EACH  PARAGRAPH  REDUCED 
TO  ITS  PROPER  HEADS;  THE  SENSE  GIVEN, 

AND  LARGELY  ILLUSTRATED ; 

WITH 

PRACTICAL  REMARKS  AND  OBSERVATIONS: 


BY  MATTHEW  'hENRY. 


EDITED  BY 

THE  REV.  GEOROE  BURDER,  AND  THE  REV.  JOSEPH  HUGHES,  A.  M., 

WITH  THE 

LIFE  OP  THE  AUTHOR, 

BY  THE 

REV.  SAMUEL  PALMER. 

American  3STiit(oii: 

TO  WHICH  IS  FBEFIZBD, 

A PREFACE, 

BY  ARCHIBALD  ALEXANDER,  D.  D. 

PROFESSOR  OF  THEOLOGY  IN  THE  SEMINARY  AT  f^NOBTON,  E.  J. 


VOL.  I. 


XPOSITION  ( dAN101912 

New  Testament: 


PHILADELPHIA:  ' 

ED.  BARRINGTON  & GEO.  D.  HASWELL 

MARKET  STREET. 


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Eastern  District  of  Pennsylvania,  to  ueiX : 


BE  IT  REMEMBERED,  That  on  the  Eighth  day  of  August,  in  the  fifty-third  year  of  the  Inde- 
pendence of  the  United  States  of  America,  A,  D.  1828,  Towar  & Hogan,  of  the  said  District,  have 
deposited  in  this  ofiice  the  Title  of  a Book,  the  right  whereof  they  claim  as  Proprietors,  in  the  words 
following,  to  wit: 


“ Preface  to  the  First  American  Edition  of  Henry’s  Exposition  of  the  Old  and  New  Testament.  By  Archibald 
Alexander,  D.  D.  Professor  of  Theology  in  the  Seminary  at  Princeton,  N.  J.” 


In  conformity  to  the  Act  of  the  Congress  of  the  United  States,  entitled,  “ An  act  for  the  encouragement  of  Learn- 
ing, by  securing  the  copies  of  Maps,  Charts,  and  Books,  to  the  Authors  and  Proprietors  of  such  copies,  during  the 
times  therein  mentioned”— And  also  to  the  act,  entitled,  “An  act  supplementary  to  an  act,  entitled,  “An  act  for  the 
a couragement  of  Learning,  by  securing  the  copies  of  Maps,  Charts  and  Books,  to  the  Authors  and  Proprietors  of  such 
♦v  'f.es  during  the  times  therein  mentioned,”  and  extending  the  benefits  thereof  to  the  arts  of  designing,  engraving,  and 
B'-A-uig  historical  and  other  prints.” 

D.  CALDWELL, 

Clerk  of  the  Eastern  District  of  Pennsylvania 


PREFACE 


TO  THE 


FIRST  AMERICAN  EDITION 

OP 

HENRY’S  EXPOSITION 

OP  THE 


OliD  AND  NEW  TESTAMENTS. 


BY  ARCHIBALD  ALEXANDER,  D.  D. 

PROFESSOR  OF  THEOLOGY  /N*  THE  SEMINARY  AT  PRIXCETOJf,  AT.  J 


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PREFACE 


TO 

HENRY’S  COHHENTARY. 


Commentaries  on  the  Bible  may  be  conveniently  divided  into  two  kinds,  the 
CRITICAL  and  practical.  The  first,  by  a grammatical  analysis  of  the  words  and 
phrases  of  the  original  text,  endeavour  to  ascertain  the  literal  meaning  of  each  passage ; 
and  to  enable  others  to  judge  of  the  correctness  of  the  interpretation,  the  whole  critical 
process  is  spread  before  the  reader.  Helps  of  this  sort  are  very  important  to  the 
learned,  for,  in  all  cases,  the  literal  sense  must  be  determined  before  any  proper  use  can 
be  made  of  the  text,  or  any  other  interpretation  founded  on  it.  The  propriety,  force, 
and  meaning  of  a metaphor,  or  an  allegory,  can  only  be  known  by  first  understanding 
the  literal  meaning  of  the  words  employed ; and  the  same  is  true  in  regard  to  what 
may  be  called  the  mystical,  or  spiritual,  meaning,  of  any  passage  of  Scripture.  But, 
however  necessary  this  critical  analysis  may  be,  it  can  be  useful  to  none  but  the  learned. 
Commentaries  of  another  kind,  therefore,  are  required  for  common  readers,  who  have 
as  deep  an  interest  involved  in  the  truths  of  the  Bible,  as  the  critical  scholar ; and  who 
are  as  much  bound  in  duty  to  search  the  Scriptures : for  as  every  man  must  give 
account  of  himself,  both  of  his  faith  and  practice,  he  must  have  the  right  to 
judge  for  himself.  The  best  helps  ought,  therefore,  to  be  provided,  to  enable  all 
classes  of  men  to  form  correct  opinions  on  the  all  important  subject  of  religion. 
For  this  reason,  many  practical  expositions,  not  only  of  detached  passages  and 
single  books,  but  of  the  whole  Bible,  have  been  composed,  and  have  been 
extensively  useful  in  elucidating  the  Scriptures ; and  in  teaching  how  the  truths  of 
Revelation  may  be  applied  to  regulate  the  hearts  and  direct  the  lives  of  men.  In  this 
class,  Henry’s  Exposition  holds  a distinguished  place.  This  work  has  now  been 
before  the  Christian  community  for  more  than  a hundred  years,  and  has,  from  its  first 
publication,  been  so  well  received,  and  is  so  generally  approved,  that  all  recommenda^ 
tion  of  the  work  itself  seems  to  be  now  superfluous.  It  has,  indeed,  become  a standard 
work  in  theology ; not  with  the  people  of  one  denomination  only,  but  with  the  friends 
of  sound  piety  and  evangelical  religion,  of  every  name.  Many  other  valuable  com- 
mentaries, it  is  true,  have  been  given  to  the  public  since  this  work  was  first  edited,  and 
have  deservedly  gained  for  themselves  a high  estimation  and  extensive  circulation.  But 
it  may  be  safely  said,  that  Henry’s  Exposition  of  the  Bible  has  not  been  superseded 


IV 


PREFACE. 


by  any  of  these  publications ; and  in  those  points  in  which  its  peculiar  excellence  con- 
sists, remains  unrivalled.  For  some  particular  purposes,  and  in  some  particular 
respects,  other  Commentaries  may  be  preferable ; but,  taking  it  as  a whole,  and  as 
adapted  to  every  class  of  readers,  this  Commentary  may  be  said  to  combine  more 
excellencies  than  any  work  of  the  kind  which  was  ever  written,  m any  language. 
And  this  is  not  the  opinion  of  one,  or  a few  persons,  but  thousands  of  judicious  theolo- 
gians have  been  of  the  same  mind;  and  it  may  be  predicted,  that  as  long  as  the 
English  language  shall  remain  unchanged,  Henry’s  Exposition  will  be  highly  appre- 
ciated by  the  lovers  of  true  religion. 

Our  object  in  this  Preface  is,  to  endeavour  to  point  out  some  of  the  more  distinguish- 
ing characteristics  of  this  great  work,  and  to  offer  some  motives  to  induce  Christians 
of  our  country  to  study  it.  Before  I proceed  farther,  however,  I would  remark,  that 
the  principal  excellence  of  this  Exposition  does  not  consist  in  solving  difficulties  which 
may  be  found  in  Scripture.  On  this  ground,  complaint  is  sometimes  heard  from  those 
who  consult  this  Commentary,  that  they  may  obtain  light  on  obscure  and  perplexed 
{)assages,  of  being  disappointed  in  their  expectations ; and  that,  while  plain  passages 
are  largely  expounded,  those  which  are  difficult  are  briefly  touched,  or  passed  over 
without  notice.  To  this  objection  it  may  be  answered,  that  to  exhibit  the  use  and 
application  of  those  parts  of  Scripture  which  are  not  involved  in  difficulty,  is  far  more 
important  for  practical  purposes,  than  the  elucidation  of  obscure  passages.  It  is  a 
general,  and  surely  it  is  a comfortable  fact,  that  those  parts  of  Scripture  which  are 
most  obscure  are  least  important.  But  the  same  objection  might  be  made,  and  indeed 
has  been  made,  to  all  Commentaries,  that  they  leave  the  difficult  texts  as  obscure  as 
they  found  them ; from  which  the  only  legitimate  inference  is,  that,  in  regard  to  a large 
portion  of  texts  of  difficult  interpretation,  the  learned  and  unlearned  stand  very  much 
on  the  same  level ; yet,  doubtless,  much  light  has  been  shed  on  many  things  in  the 
Scriptures,  by  the  labours  of  the  learned.  And  although  we  do  not  claim  for  this 
Commentator  the  highest  place  among  Biblical  critics,  yet  we  have  a right  to  say,  that 
Henry  was  a sound  and  ripe  scholar;  and  especially,  is  said  by  his  biographers  to 
have  been  an  excellent  Hebrew  scholar.  We  are  not  to  suppose,  because  no  parade 
of  critical  learning  is  exhibited  in  these  volumes,  that  the  Author  did  not  critically 
examine  every  text.  As  the  Orator  is  said  to  practise  the  art  of  eloquence  most  per- 
fectly, when  all  appearance  of  art  is  concealed ; so  we  may  say,  that  he  makes  the  best 
use  of  the  critical  art  in  the  instruction  of  the  people,  who  furnishes  them  with  the 
results,  without  bringing  at  all  into  view  the  learned  process  by  which  they  were 
arnved  at.  One  fact  is  certain  from  internal  evidence,  that  Mr.  Henry  wrote  his 
Commentary  on  the  Old  and  New  Testaments,  with  the  learned  compilation  of  Pool, 
called  Criticorum  Synopsis,  open  before  him;  as,  in  all  difficult  passages,  he  has 
judiciously  selected  that  opinion  from  the  many  presented  in  this  work,  which,  upon 
the  whole,  seems  to  be  most  probable. 

But,  while  we  contend  that  our  Author  is  a sound  and  ingenious  Expositor,  as  it 


PREFACE. 


V 


relates  to  the  literal  interpretation  of  Scripture;  yet  we  do  not  found  his  claim  to  pre- 
eminence on  his  critical  acumen,  or  profound  erudition,  but  on  qualities  which  shall 
now  be  distinctly  brought  into  view. 

1.  To  begin,  then,  with  the  style  of  this  work,  1 would  remark,  that  two  qualities, 
not  often  united,  are  here  combined,  perspicuity  and  conciseness.  That  the  style  is  per- 
spicuous needs  no  other  proof  than  the  examination  of  any  page  of  the  Exposition. 
And  when  I attribute  perspicuity  to  this  composition,  I use  the  word  in  direct  reference 
to  the  capacity  and  apprehension  of  the  unlearned  reader.  A style  cliiefly  formed  of 
words  of  a foreign  origin,  may  be  as  perspicuous  to  a learned  man  as  any  other ; but 
not  so  to  the  common  reader,  who  is  only  familiar  with  that  kind  of  language  which  is 
commonly  used  in  conversation.  F or  the  most  part,  Mr.  Henry’s  style  is  made  up  of 
pure  old  English  words,  and  therefore  it  is  plain  to  every  class  of  people ; and  is  also 
familiar,  because  the  words  are  the  same  as  those  all  are  accustomed  to  hear  evei7  day. 

But  it  will  not  be  so  readily  granted  that  the  style  is  concise.  The  number  and  size 
of  the  volumes  seem  to  lead  to  a different  conclusion.  And,  indeed,  when  we  see  six 
folio  volumes,  written  by  one  hand,  the  presumption  is  very  natural  and  strong,  that  he 
must  be  a diffuse  writer.  This,  however,  in  regard  to  our  Expositor,  is  not  the  fact. 
The>'e  are  few  books,  in  the  English  language,  written  in  a more  concise,  sententious 
style,  than  Henry’s  Exposition.  On  examination,  very  few  expletives  will  be  found. 
Every  word  speaks,  and  every  sentence  is  pregnant  with  meaning ; so  that  I do  not 
know  how  the  book  could  be  abridged  in  any  other  way  than  by  leaving  out  a 
part  of  its  contents.  And  we  must  distinguish  between  a long  discourse  and  one 
which  is  diffuse  : a short  work  may  be  very  diffuse,  while  one  of  great  length  may  not 
have  a superfluous  word. 

2.  Another  quality  of  the  style  of  this  Commentaiy  is  vivacity.  This  word  does  not 
exactly  express  the  idea  which  I wish  to  convey,  but  it  comes  as  near  it  as  any  one  1 
can  think  of  at  present,  I mean  that  pleasant  turn  of  thought,  in  which  we  meet  with 
unexpected  associations  of  ideas,  expressed  in  that  concise  and  pointed  form  which,  on 
other  subjects,  would  be  termed  wit.  Indeed,  if  I were  permitted  to  invent  a phrase 
to  indicate  the  quality  of  which  I am  now  speaking,  I would  call  it  spriritual  wit.  It 
has,  by  some,  been  called  a cheerful  style ; and  certainly,  the  reading  of  this  work  has 
a tendency  not  only  to  keep  the  attention  av»’ake,  but  to  diffuse  a cheerful  emotion 
through  the  soul.  He  must  be  a very  bad  man  who  would  become  gloomy  by  the 
perusal  of  Henrv’s  Commentary.  Now,  I need  not  say  how  important  this  quality  is 
in  a composition  of  such  extent  Without  it,  however  excellent  the  matter,  weariness 
would  take  hold  of  the  reader  a thousand  times  before  he  had  finished  the  worx.  This 
seems  to  have  been  the  natural  turn  and  complexion  of  the  pious  author’s  thoughts, 
1 here  is  no  affectation ; no  unnatural  comparisons,  or  strained  antitheses.  It  is  true 
there  is  an  approach  to  what  is  called  quaintness^  and  a frequent  play  on  words  an<l 
phrases  of  similar  sound,  but  different  meaning ; but,  although  these  things  are  not  cor> 
fomiable  to  the  standard  of  modem  taste,  yet  they  are  very  agreeable  to  the  great 


VI 


PREFACE. 


of  the  people,  and  give  such  a zest  in  the  perusal  of  the  work,  that  we  can  scarcely 
allow  ourselves  to  indulge  a wish,  that  the  style  were  in  any  respect  different  from 
what  it  is. 

3.  But  a characteristic  of  .this  Exposition  of  a more  important  kind  than  any  that 
have  been  mentioned  is,  the  fertility  and  variety  of  good  sentiment,  manifest  through- 
out the  work.  The  mind  of  the  author  seems  not  only  to  have  been  imbued  with  ex- 
cellent spiritual  ideas,  but  to  have  teemed  with  them.  It  is  comparable  to  a perennial 
fountain,  which  continually  sends  forth  streams  of  living  water.  In  deriving  rich  in- 
struction and  consolation  from  the  sacred  oracles,  adapted  to  all  the  various  conditions 
and  characters  of  men,  the  author  displays  a fecundity  of  thought,  and  an  ingenuity  in 
making  the  application  of  divine  truth,  which  strikes  us  with  admiration.  The  resour- 
ces of  most  men  would  have  been  exhausted  m expounding  a few  books  of  the  Bible : 
after  which  little  more  could  have  been  expected,  than  common-place  matter,  or  the 
continual  recurrence  of  the  same  ideas ; but  the  riches  of  our  Expositor’s  mind  seem  to 
have  been  inexhaustible.  He  comes  to  every  successive  portion  of  the  sacred  Scrip- 
tures with  a fulness  and  freshness  of  matter,  and  with  a variety  in  his  remarks,  which 
while  it  instructs,  at  the  same  time  refreshes  us.  Even  in  his  exposition  of  those  books 
which  are  very  similar  in  their  contents,  as  the  gospels  for  example,  we  still  find  a pleas- 
ing variety  in  the  notes  of  the  commentator.  It  is  difficult  to  conceive  how  one  man 
should  have  been  able  to  accomplish  such  a work,  without  any  falling  off  in  the  style 
of  execution. 

[t  is  true,  indeed,  that  Mr.  Henry  did  not  live  to  put  a finishing  hand  to  the  exposh 
lion.  He  had  made  ample  preparations  for  the  completion  of  the  work,  but  while  it 
was  in  the  press,  to  the  regret  of  all  good  men,  he  was  called  away  from  the  field  of 
labour.  But  the  providence  of  God,  though  mysterious,  is  always  wise.  It  should  be 
matter  of  lively  gratitude,  that  this  eminent  servant  of  God  was  permitted  to  remain 
so  long  in  our  world,  and  to  accomplish  so  much  for  the  edification  of  the  church,  not 
only  in  his  own,  but  in  all  future  ages.  The  commentary  was  completed  by  the  author, 
as  far  as  to  the  end  of  the  Acts  of  the  Apostles  : the  remaining  books  were  ex- 
pounded by  certain  of  his  friends,  who  were  eminent  for  their  theological  knowledge 
and  piety ; and  who,  doubtless,  availed  themselves  of  the  assistance  of  his  papers,  in 
executing  the  work,  which  they  respectively  undertook.  Their  names  are  prefixed  to 
the  books  on  which  they  severally  wrote  the  commentary ; and  although  the  reader 
will  be  sensible  of  the  want  of  Mr.  Henryk’s  peculiar  vivacity  and  happy  turn  of  thought ; 
yet  he  will  find  the  continuation  of  the  Exposition  executed  in  an  able  and  judicious 
manner ; and  with  as  ne^  an  approximation  to  the  author’s  inimitable  style,  as  could 
be  expected  from  other  hands. 

4.  There  is  perhaps  no  one  thing  which  gives  a more  distinctive  character  to  this 
performance,  than  the  weighty,  pithy,  pointed  sayings,  with  which  it  abounds.  Whe- 
ther these  apothegms  were,  generally,  the  production  ofithe  author’s  ingenuity,  or  were 


PREFACE.  vii 

»>oIlected  from  the  common  stock  of  English  proverbs,  current  in  his  day,  their  value  is 
the  same  to  us. 

The  ancients  appear  to  have  understood,  better  than  the  moderns,  the  importance  of 
the  method  of  instruction  by  proverbs,  or  aphorisms.  It  was  considered  by  them  the 
highest  effort  of  wisdom  to  invent  proverbs,  parables,  or  fables,  which,  in  few  words, 
convey  much  meaning.  Several  of  those,  called  by  way  of  eminence  the  wise  men 
OF  Greece,  are  celebrated  for  no  other  productions,  but  a few  sayings  which  met  with 
general  approbation,  and  which  passed  into  proverbs.  The  value  of  a stock  of  good 
proverbs  to  a nation  cannot  easily  be  too  highly  appreciated.  These  are  kept  in  con-  ; 
stant  use  and  circulation,  and  are  learned  by  all  classes  of  people,  without  effort;  and 
beconie,  to  the  vulgar,  the  maxims  by  which  life  is  regulated.  Nothing  is  more  com- 
mon, when  a man’s  judgment  has  been  suspended  for  a while,  than  to  come  to  a deci- 
sion, by  the  recollection  of  some  proverb,  ^r  general  maxim.  Men  are  actually  influ- 
enced by  the  knowledge  which  is  present  to  their  minds,  at  the  moment  when  their 
purpose  is  formed,  and  this  gives  an  advantage  to  apothegms  over  every  other  form  in 
which  useful  knowledge  is  treasured  up.  While  other  learning  is  like  treasure  hoarded 
up,  which  cannot  always  be  put  into  circulation  at  a moment’s  warning,  these  are  com- 
parable to  the  current  coin  of  a nation,  which  is  always  ready,  and  always  in  circula- 
tion. Perhaps  a man  might  often  be  as  useful  to  his  country  by  inventing  and  putting 
into  general  circulation,  a few  pithy,  pointed,  moral  or  prudential  maxims,  as  by  writing 
an  elaborate  work  on  moral  science,  or  political  economy.  It  is  a fact  worthy  of  notice, 
that  the  peasantry  or  common  people  in  some  places,  carry  on  their  conversation  very 
much  by  recollecting  and  repeating  appropriate  proverbs ; and  such  people  will  gene- 
rally be  found  to  be  more  than  usually  discerning  and  prudent.  In  the  instruction  of 
youth,  this  easy  method  of  furnishing  arid  fortifying  their  minds,  ought  not  to  be  ne- 
glected. A father  who  instils  into  his  children  a large  stock  of  sound,  practical,  moral, 
and  prudential  aphorisms,  really  leaves  them  a richer  inheritance,  than  if  he  provided 
for  them  as  many  jewels.  We  have,  moreover,  the  highest  authority  for  this  mode  of 
instruction*  The  Bible  is  replete  with  aphorisms  of  the  most  important  kind ; and  one 
whole  book,  written  by  the  wisest  of  men,  contains  nothing  else  but  proverbs.  Be- 
sides, many  of  our  Lord’s  instructions  were  delivered  in  this  form. 

One  of  the  most  useful  and  esteemed  works  of  the  celebrated  Erasmus,  is,  a collec- 
tion of  aphorisms,  from  all  the  writings  of  the  Greek  and  Roman  authors ; and  he 
who  should  judiciously  make  a collection  of  useful  English  apothegms,  would  confer  a 
favour  on  the  public  at  large.  But  it  has  occurred  to  the  writer,  many  years  since, 
that  an  excellent  and  useful  little  volume  of  choice  sayings,  might  be  collected  from 
Henry’s  Commentary  alone ; and  if  any  reader  of  this  work  should  take  the  pains  to 
make  such  a collection  for  his  own  use  and  that  of  his  children  or  friends,  he  would 
never  have  occasion  to  repent  of  his  labour.  The  exuberance  of  our  author’s  mind  in 
composing  such  apothegms ; or  his  diligence  in  collecting  them,  gives  a peculiar  stamp 

10  his  work,  which  distinguishes  it  from  all  other  expositions ; and  ever  will  render  it 
VoL.  I. — 2 


vlii  PREKACIj. 

valuable,  as  the  repository  of  a most  useful  species  of  learning,  not  to  be  found  in  such 
abundance,  any  where  else. 

5.  The  next  characteristic  of  the  following  Exposition,  is,  the  felicity  and  frequency 
with  which  the  text,  at  any  time  under  consideration,  is  elucidated  by  parallel  passages 
I f there  were  no  more  than  a frequent  and  copious  reference  to  such  similar  texts,  it 
would  not  deserve  particular  notice  as  forming  a distinguishing  trait  of  this  perform- 
ance ; for  other  commentators  have  exceeded  Mr.  Henry  in  this  respect ; and,  indeed, 
a good  concordance,  with  patient  labour,  is  all  that  is  requisite  for  the  accomplishment 
of  such  a work.  But  in  Mr.  Heniy’s  references,  there  is  often  an  ingenuity  which 
bori  ows  liglit  from  points  where  it  was  not  perceived  by  others  to  exist.  By  an  unex- 
pected association  and  comparison  of  different  passages,  while  he  instructs  us  in  that 
knowledge  of  the  Scriptures  which  is  derived  from  comparing  spiritual  things  with  spi- 
rit7ial,  he,  at  the  same  time,  fills  us  with  angagreeable  surprise,  at  the  unlooked  for  co- 
incidence of  points  apparently  remote  from  each  other. 

No  one,  I think,  can  read  this  commentary  without  being  fully  satisfied,  that  the  word 
of  God  dwelt  richly  in  the  mind  of  its  in  all  wisdom  and  spiritual  understanding. 

Indeed,  it  would  seem  that  the  contents  of  the  Bible  were  constantly  present  to  his 
mind,  not  merely  in  the  way  of  recollecting  them,  but  by  a deep  knowledge  of  their 
meaning  and  various  bearings ; so  that  he  was  able  to  survey  each  text  by  the  aid  of  the 
c-oncentraled  light  of  the  whole  Bible. 

I need  not  pause  to  recommend  this  mode  of  interpreting  Scripture  ; for  it  recom 
mends  itself  to  every  reflecting  mind,  and  has  the  authority  of  apostolic  precept.  1 
will  only  remark,  that  it  affords  a double  satisfaction  to  the  lover  of  truth ; for  wliile  he 
is  thus  enabled  to  understand  a particular  text  more  clearly,  he,  at  the  same  time,  dis- 
covers the  harmony  which  subsists  between  all  the  parts  of  divine  revelation. 

The  only  other  thing  which  I shall  mention,  as  characteristic  of  this  work,  is,  its 
evangelical,  spiritual,  and  practical  cast.  The  truths  of  God  are  here  presented  sim- 
ply, without  being  complicated  wdth  human  philosophy,  or  encumbered  with  the  tecli- 
nical  distinctions  of  scholastic  theology,  or  obscured  by  the  mists  of  unintelligible  me- 
taphysics. Neither  is  the  truth  presented  in  a controversial  form,  but  mostly,  as  if  no 
controversy  existed.  No  doubt  controversy  is  necessary  in  its  place,  but  the  more  it 
is  excluded  from  the  pulpit,  and  from  books  intended  for  the  edification  of  the  people  at 
large,  the  more  probability  will  there  be,  that  the  truth  will  produce  its  genuine  effect 

It  has  been  objected,  that  the  author  does  not  give  sufficient  prominence  to  some  im- 
portant truths  taught  in  the  word  of  God ; — but,  if  he  has  given  a sound  exposition  of 
those  passages  in  w^hich  these  doctrines  are  contained,  he  has  allowed  them  the  same 
comparative  length  and  breadth  which  they  occupy  in  the  Bible ; and  has  preserved 
that  proportion  between  the  different  parts  of  divine  revelation,  which  the  Holy  Ghost 
has  established.  Indeed,  this  course  is  made  necessary  to  the  expositor  of  the  whole 
Bible,  unless  he  would  leave  his  exposition  to  discuss  particular  points  of  doctrine 


PREFACE. 


IX 


Besides,  some  truths,  not  more  important  than  many  others,  occupy  a large  space  in 
systems  of  polemic  theology,  because  they  have  often  been  opposed  or  disputed. 

No  man  who  has  written  so  much,  and  expressed  so  many  opinions,  as  Mr.  Henry 
has  done  in  this  commentary,  will  be  likely  to  have  the  concurrence  of  any  one  think- 
ing man,  on  every  minute  point ; but  it  would  be  extremely  difficult  to  find  a book  of 
such  extent,  which  unites  so  many  minds  in  its  approbation.  Men,  who  seem  to  differ 
considerably  in  doctrinal  views,  read  this  work  respectively,  with  pleasure  and  edifica- 
tion. It  is  no  difficult  matter,  indeed,  to  ascertain  the  author’s  theological  opinions 
which  are  freely  expressed,  when  the  exposition  of  Scripture  requires  it ; but  he  is  mo- 
derate, and  cautious  of  giving  offence  to  those  who  differ  from  him ; and  by  his  unceas- 
ing effort  to  give  a practical  turn  to  every  passage,  he  conciliates  the  pious  reader’s 
mind,  even  while  he  delivers  opinions  which  he  cannot  adopt. 

The  end  at  which  the  author  aimed,  and  of  which  he  never  lost  sight  in  expounding 
a single  text,  was,  to  make  men  wise  unto  salvation ; and  the  whole  tendency  of  the 
work  is  to  produce  spiritual  wisdoni,  an  ardent  love  of  holiness,  and  a conscientious  and 
diligent  regard  to  all  the  revealed  will  of  God,  in  the  performance  of  public  and  pri- 
vate duties.* 

It  is  an  excellency,  in  this  commentaiy,  that  the  truths  of  Scripture  are  adapted,  with 
great  spiritual  skill,  to  the  various  afflictions,  conflicts,  and  temptations  which  are  inci- 
dent to  the  Christian  life.  The  erring  will  here  find  reproof  and  direction,  the  sluggish 
excitement,  the  timid  encouragement,  the  mourner  comfort,  and  the  growing  Christian, 
confirmation,  and  increase  of  knowledge  and  assurance. 

It  may  be  more  necessary  for  the  unlearned  to  read  such  works  as  this,  than  for  the 
learned  ; yet  I am  persuaded,  that  there  is  no  man  living,  however  learned,  but  might 
derive  much  practical  instruction  from  Henry’s  Exposition  of  t!ie  Bible  : and  if  minis- 
ters of  the  gospel  would  spend  much  time  in  perusing  this  work,  it  would  manifest  itself 
by  the  richness  and  spirituality  of  their  sermons  and  lectures.  The  celebrated  George 
VVhitefield  states,  when  speaking  of  his  preparation  for  the  work  of  the  ministry,  that 
he  had  read  the  whole  of  Henry’s  Exposition  of  the  Bible,  on  his  knees.  One  princi- 
pal reason  why  young  clergymen,  who  possess  this  w ork,  derive  less  benefit  from  it  than 
they  might,  is,  that  they  are  in  the  habit,  probably,  of  merely  consulting  the  w ork,  oc- 
casionally, when  they  want  some  aid  in  composing  a sermon,  or  preparing  an  exposi- 
toiy  lecture  for  their  people.  But  the  full  value  of  this  commentary  wall  never  be  per- 
ceived by  those  who  thus  use  it.  It  should  be  carefully  read,  in  course^  and  with  a view 
to  personal  improvement.  It  is  a melancholy  fact,  that  our  intellect  may  be  vigorous- 
ly exercised  in  discovering  and  arranging  truths  of  the  most  important  and  practical 
kind,  without  the  least  personal  edification.  This  is  one  of  (he  many  snares  to  which 
preachers  of  the  gospel  are  liable,  and  from  which  it  results,  that  their  hearers  often 
derive  much  more  benefit  from  their  studies,  than  they  do  themselves.  It  would  be  a 


See  the  author’s  general  1‘retace,  prefixed  to  the  1 st  volume. 


X 


PREFACE. 


great  point  gained,  if  ministers  could  learn  the  art  of  studying  their  sermons  with  the 
heart  as  well  as  the  head ; and  1 know  of  few  things  which  would  more  effectuallj 
tend  to  bring  this  about,  than  a frequent  and  serious  perusal  of  Henry’s  Commentary  , 
especially  if  fervent  prayer  were  combined  with  the  reading. 

But  after  all  that  I have  said,  with  the  view  of  exhibiting  the  characteristics  of  this 
work,  I am  sensible  that  such  general  description  can,  at  best,  afford  but  inadequate 
ideas  of  the  spirit  and  style  of  an  author,  so  peculiar  in  his  manner.  There  is  in  good 
writing,  as  in  the  human  countenance,  an  expression,  which  mere  words  cannot  depict. 
There  is  a penetrating  savour, — a diffusive  spirit,  which  takes  hold  of  the  feelings  of  the 
reader,  and  for  the  time,  assimilates  his  emotions  and  sentiments  to  those  of  the  writer. 
To  understand  how  this  effect  is  produced  by  the  tones  of  the  living  voice,  accompani- 
ed with  tlie  animated  expression  of  the  countenance  of  a public  speaker,  is  not  so  dif- 
ficult ; but  to  explain  how  the  composition  of  one,  long  since  dead,  should  still  retain 
that  penetrating,  spirit-stirring  energy,  which  we  find  in  the  writings  of  men,  whose 
hearts  were  warm  with  holy  affections,  is  not  easy.  The  fact,  however,  is  certain ; we 
experience  the  salutary  effect,  when  we  peruse  their  works.  In  reading  for  edification, 
therefore,  it  is  of  much  greater  utility  to  apply  ourselves  to  the  writings  of  men,  who, 
while  they  wrote,  felt  the  sacred  flame  of  divine  love  glowing  in  their  breasts,  than  to 
such  as  excel  in  mere  intellectual  vigour,  or  in  elegance  of  style. 

My  principal  object  in  this  preface  is,  to  persuade  those  who  may  take  the  trouble  to 
read  it,  to  enter  seriously  and  Resolutely  on  the  perusal  of  the  following  work.  What- 
ever other  books  of  this  kind  may  be  possessed,  still  Henry’s  Exposition  will  prove  a 
treasure  to  any  family,  if  it  be  diligently  studied  ; without  which  no  book  can  be  useful. 

Hitherto,  this  commentary  has  not  been  in  general  use  in  this  country,  because  co- 
pies were  not  abundant ; and  the  price  of  the  work  placed  it  beyond  the  reach  of 
many,  who  would  have  been  much  pleased  to  possess  it : but  now,  when  a cheap, 
handsome  American  edition  is  issuing  from  the  press,  there  is  the  best  reason  to  hope, 
that  it  will  be  widely  circulated  and  extensively  read.  It  is  worthy  of  notice,  also, 
that  the  work  is  now  presented  to  the  public,  not  only  in  a very  clear  type,  but  also  in 
a portable  and  convenient  form.  Many  persons,  who  have  not  much  leisure  for  read- 
ing, are  intimidated  at  the  sight  of  folio  volumes ; and  to  eveiy  one  their  use  is  incon- 
venient. But  I am  still  apprehensive,  that  the  number  and  bulk  of  the  volumes,  will 
be  a formidable  obstacle  to  many.  They  will  be  apt  to  think,  that  they  have  neithei 
time  nor  patience  to  finish  such  a task,  and  therefore  will  be  disposed  to  decline  the  un- 
dertaking. But  such  persons  ought  to  reflect,  that  it  will  not  be  necessary  to  read  the 
whole,  to  obtain  the  benefit  of  a part ; a single  book  perused  with  care,  will  not  be 
without  its  advantage.  There  is  no  solid  reason,  however,  for  those  persons,  who  sin- 
cerely wish  to  study  the  Scriptures,  to  be  discouraged  by  the  extent  of  the  work  : for, 
although  viewed  in  mass,  it  may  seem  to  be  an  almost  endless  labour  to  those  who  can 
devote  but  little  time  to  reading ; yet,  if  any  one  would  form  a simple  calculation,  he 
would  find,  that  the  task  can  be  accomplished  with  ease,  in  a very  reasonable  time 


PREFACE. 


XI 


Let  us  suppose,  that  only  one  half  hour  be  appropriated  to  the  perusal  of  this  commen- 
tary in  each  of  the  days  of  the  week,  except  the  Lord’s  day,  on  which  two  hours  might 
be  conveniently  spent  in  this  exercise  ; and  at  this  moderate  rate  of  progress,  the  whole 
work  would  be  finished  in  less  than  three  years. 
iiBut  although  we  have  spoken  of  this  undertaking  as  a “ labour”  and  “a  task,”  yet 
' we  are'  confident^  that  to  the  reader  who  thirsts  for  an  increase  of  divine  knowledge, 
it  would  be  founds  on  experiment,  to  be  a veiy  precious  privilege.  Such  a person 
would  experience  so  much  pleasure  in  the  contemplation  of  scriptural  truth,  as  here 
exhibited,  and  would  find  his  mind  so  enriched  with  spiritual  thoughts,  that,  he  would 
contract  a lively  relish  for  the  exercise,  and  would  be  drawn  to  liis  work,  when  the 
season  of  performing  it  occurred,  with  something  of  the  same  strength  of  appetite,  as 
that  which  urges  him  to  partake  of  his  daily  food ; and  would  feel  the  privation  as  sen- 
sibly when  debarred  from  it,  as  when  prevented  from  taking  his  usual  bodily  repast. 
Citizens,  who  have  been  long  accustomed  to  spend  an  hour,  in  the  morning,  in  reading 
the  news  of  the  day,  when,  by  any  circumstance,  this  gratification  is  abstracted  from 
them,  appear  really  to  feel  as  much  uneasiness,  as  if  prevented  from  breaking  their  fast. 
And  why  may  not  a spiritual  taste  become  as  lively,  as  that  which  is  expenenced  for 
the  contents  of  a newspaper  ? Why  may  we  not  enjoy  the  contemplation  of  divine 
things  with  as  strong  a zest,  as  knowledge  of  another  kind  ? Surely  nothing  is  want- 
ing to  produce  this  effect,  but  a right  disposition  in  ourselves.  And  the  person  who  thus 
contracts  a taste  for  the  contents  of  these  volumes,  will  find  means  for  redeeming  more  ti  me 
for  reading  than  we  have  specified ; so  that  the  work,  for  which  we  have  allowed  three 
years,  would,  by  many,  be  completed  in  one.  And  this  exposition  is  not  a composition 
of  that  kind,  which  when  once  read,  leaves  no  desire  for  a second  perusal,  but  the  spi- 
ritual reader  will  be  led  to  mark  many  passages  for  a reperusal ; not  because  they  were 
not  undei-stood  at  first,  but  because  they  afforded  him  so  much  delight,  or  communica- 
ted such  seasonable  instruction,  that  he  desires  to  come  again  and  again  to  the  fountain 
that  he  may  be  refreshed  and  strengthened. 

But  while  we  wish  to  raise  in  the  minds  of  our  readers  a high  estimation  of  the  value 
of  Henry’s  Commentary,  we  would  not  dismiss  the  subject  without  observing,  that 
whatever  lustre  the  work  possesses,  it  is  all  borrowed.  The  light  with  which  it  shines 
is  reflected  light.  The  whole  value  of  this  or  any  other  similar  work,  consists  merely 
in  holding  up  clearly  and  distinctly,  the  truth  which  is  contained  in  the  sacred  records. 
And  whatever  of  spiritual  wisdom,  or  of  the  savour  of  piety,  is  found  in  these  pages, 
was  all  derived  from  the  influence  of  that  Holy  Spirit,  who  inspired  the  prophets  and 
apostles  to  write  the  Scriptures,  and  who  still  bestows  grace  and  spiritual  endowments 
on  his  chosen  servants,  by  which  they  are  qualified,  to  preach  and  write,  in  such  a 
manner,  as  to  promote  the  edification  of  his  church.  In  every  age,  God  raises  up  men 
for  the  defence  of  the  gospel,  and  also  for  the  exposition  of  his  word ; and  some  of  these 
are  honoured  not  only  with  usefulness  while  they  live,  but  with  more  abundant  and  ex- 
tensive usefulness  after  their  decease ; so  tliat  being  dead  they  still  speak.  It  is  impos- 


PREFACE.  ^ 


xii 

sible  to  calculate  how  much  good  has  been,  and  will  still  be  effected  by  the  pii  us  labours 
of  such  men  as  Henry  and  Scott.  Their  works  will  be  read  in  regions  so i . -emote  and 
obscure,  that  they  never  came  to  the  knowledge  of  the  pious  writers.  They  will  be 
read  in  the  distant  islands  of  the  Pacific,  and  in  the  central  re^ons  of  Africa,  as  well 
as  111  the  most  retired  recesses  of  our  own  country.  What  an  encouragement  is  this 
for  men,  who  have  the  ability,  to  labour  indefatigably  in  the  communication  and  diffu- 
sion of  divine  truth  ? Of  books  we  have  a superabundance,  but  of  books  of  the  pro- 
per kind,  we  have  not  half  enough.  Copies  of  works  of  undisputed  excellence  ought 
to  be  multiplied,  until  all  who  can  read  are  supplied  with  the  precious  treasure. 

But  let  God  have  the  glory  of  every  invention,  of  every  gilt,  and  of  every  work,  by 
which  the  progress  and  diffusion  of  truth  are  promoted  or  facilitated  ; and  let  all  that 
is  said  in  praise  of  men,  be  so  spoken,  as  to  redound  to  the  honour  and  glory  of  the 
Triune  God ! — Amen. 


' I 


MEMOIRS 


OF  THE 


LIFE 


OF  THE 


RET.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


PURPOSELY  WRITTEN  FOR  THE  LONDON  EDITION  OF  HIS  W ORKS. 


BY  S.  PALMER, 

MINISTER  OF  THE  CONGREGATION  AT  HACKNEY,  OVER  WHICH  MR.  HENRY 
IN  HIS  LAST  YEARS  PRESIDED. 


HE  WAS  A BURNING  AND  A SHINING  LIGHT.’ 


t 


" ■.  \ 


i • 


-> ■^.^i:f‘- ■ W ' 


.;;  •^.  -Vf  ■:# 


v‘  • ' 


W 


i 


arw‘1' 


j**  ?■■  < ■ 


1 


\ ■*: 


j',,^,  , . A:-VM,  tf  ^':'J  A*}  y ”^kHi.ii  »^a><9i,>£04  :’*iVv  v.  r-«  yt'dTimtf  ^ 


• f. 


. H'  '•  -i 


Ji  a yf  J i:H  .i!< 


vn4:-]U  .n:.t}i')niyf  jli /•<)  /»' t.-.  '/ii  i r/ ’/»:;!!^''noD  aiiiT  '^lo  Ji:n><r4;i.'. 
. .^j;ia !■?';:  n,Vv>.uj  y TV. Avi>aif;i^T  '’' ' 


’i^ -'■■•■  • 


'H  N ■■*.'1'^^  "tP» 

<'.T>r;>i.i  ;'<i>:!:'V-  / av*/  a v .7f  th 


I 


' ^.  . 

■ '< 


' :-\ 


MEMOIRS 


OF  THE 


REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


Most  readers  of  a work  which  has  acquired  any  degree  of  celebrity,  feel  a desire  to  know  something 
of  the  author;  and  that  desire  is  increased,  in  proportion  as  they  find  themselves  interested  in  the 
work  itself.  It  may  therefore  be  presumed,  that  the  readers  of  Mr.  Henry’s  writings,  which  have  long 
been  in  high  repute  in  the  religious  world,  will  wish  for  some  information  concerning  the  character  and 
life  of  that  excellent  man,  whose  pen  produced  so  many  admirable  performances.  This  is  not  merely 
an  innocent,  but  a laudable  curiosity,  which  we  are  happy  to  have  the  present  opportunity  of  gratifying, 
on  the  republication  of  his  smaller  pieces,  as  well  as  his  larger  work  on  the  Bible;  most  of  which  pieces 
have  long  been  out  of  print;  and  we  are  persuaded,  that  the  more  the  author  is  known,  the  greater 
pleasure  pious  readers  will  feel  in  the  perusal  of  his  writings. 

A Life  of  Mr.  Henry  was  published,  shortly  after  his  decease,  by  his  intimate  friend,  the  Rev.  Mr. 
T'ong,  but  it  is  now  become  exceedingly  scarce;  and  though  it  contains  a just  character  and  a faithful 
narrative,  drawn  from  personal  knowledge,  as  well  as  from  private  papers,  the  m'.  nner  in  which  it  is 
drawn  up  is  not  the  most  pleasing,  the  writer  being  then  far  advanced  in  life;  and  it  is  rendered  prolix, 
and  even  tedious,  by  the  insertion  of  too  many  extracts  from  his  diary,  and  too  many  articles  relatii  e to 
Mr.  Henry’s  acquaintance  and  his  own,  as  well  as  various  other  particulars,  which  at  this  distance  of 
time  are  become  uninteresting.  On  these  accounts  it  was  judged  advisable,  instead  of  reprinting  that 
work,  to  compose  a new  one.  In  this,  however,  all  that  appeared  interesting  in  the  former  is  retained, 
and  whatever  else  could  be  collected,  is  inserted,  particularly  in  relation  to  his  settlement  at  Hackney, 
wliere  some  persons  were  living  when  the  writer  of  this  first  came  to  that  place,  who  had  the  happiness 
to  be  Mr.  Henry’s  hearers,  and  remembered  him  well. 

Mr.  Matthew  Henry  was  the  second  son  of  the  eminently  pious  and  excellent  Mr.  Philip  Henry, 
^^’hose  Life,  published  by  him,  is  an  admirable  piece  of  biography,  and  who  was  ejected  by  the  Act  cf 
Unlfi  rmity  from  his  living  in  the  parish  of  Worthcnliury,  in  Flintshire,  A.  D.  1662.  This  his  son  was 
l)arn  October  28,  in  the  same  year,  which  also,  he  ob.serves  with  pleasure  in  his  diary,  gave  birth  to  many 
other  ministers  of  his  acquaintance,  to  whom  God  had  appointed  more  peaceful  days  than  their  prede- 
cessors, whom  their  brethren,  who  hated  them,  had  cast  out.  His  birthplace  was  Broad-Oak,  in  Iscoid, 
Flintshire,  within  the  parish  of  Malpal,  which  is  in  Cheshire;  a district  signalized  in  the  British  annals 
for  the  f \mous  monastery  of  Bangor.  Hither  his  father  removed  but  a fortnight  before  his  birth,  not 
being  suffered  any  longer  to  continue  in  the  place  of  his  former  ministry;  and  here  he  spent  the  remain- 
der of  his  days.  Mr.  Henry’s  mother  was  Mrs.  Katharine  Matthews,  the  daughter  and  heiress  of  Mr. 
Daniel  Matthews,  a gentleman  of  an  ancient  family  and  a considerable  estate,  which,  upon  his  death, 
came  into  the  possession  of  Mr.  Philip  Henry,  bv  which  he  was  enabled  to  live  in  comfort  after  his  eject- 
ment, and  not  only  preach  the  gospel  gratis,  as  he  had  opportunity,  but  likewise  to  relieve  several  of  his 
necessitous  brethren.  But  his  wife  proved  to  him  a greater  treasure,  as  she  was  a woman  equally  emi- 
nent for  piety  and  every  other  endowment.  Her  son  has  done  ample  justice  to  her  character,  in  an 
excellent  discourse,  occasioned  by  her  death,  on  Prov.  xxxi.  28.  Her  children  arise  up,  and  call  her 
blessed.  It  is  subjoined  to  the  Life  of  his  father. 

The  circumstances  of  Mr.  Henry’s  birth  were  rather  remarkable.  Besides  its  being  premature,  (as 
the  writer  of  this  has  been  credibly  inforaied,)  his  mother’s  labour  was  so  sudden,  that  she  was  delivered 
before  any  assistance  could  be  procured;  and  he  was  so  weakly  a child  that  no  one  expected  him  to  live. 
He  was  therefore  baptized  the  next  day  after  he  was  bom,  by  Mr.  Holland,  the  minister  of  the  parish, 
liut  without  godfather  or  godmother;  and  his  father  desired  the  sign  of  the  cross  might  not  be  used,  but 
the  minister  said  he  durst  not  omit  it. 

When  he  was  about  five  years  old,  he  had  the  measles,  by  which  his  brother,  who  was  a year  older 
than  himself,  was  cut  off;  a circumstance  which  deeply  affected  him,  and  which  he  noticed  with  great 
seriousness,  in  a paper  written  on  his  birth  day,  when  he  had  completed  his  thirteenth  year,  wherein 
he  drew  out  a list  of  the  mercies  which  he  had  received,  with  lively  expressions  of  gratitude  to  the 
Author  of  them.  He  long  continued  weakly,  subject  to  agues  and  other  complaints;  but  he  verj"  early 
discovered  a good  mental  capacity,  and  a tboughtful  turn,  so  that  it  was  remarked  his  childhood  had 
less  of  vanity  than  that  of  most  children,  and  that  at  an  earlier  period  than  is  usual,he  put  away  childish 
things.  He  was  able  to  read  a chapter  in  the  Bible  dis^nctly  when  he  was  but  about  three  years  old, 
and  was  used  to  make  pertinent  remarks  on  what  he  read. 

His  first  abiding  convictions  of  relicrion,  according  to  his  own  written  accoimt,  in  the  paper  above 
referred  to,  were  wrought  when  he  was  ten  vears  of  age,  in  consequence  of  a seiTnon  preached  by  his 
excellent  father,  on  Psalm  li.  17.  The  sacrifices  of  God  are  a broken  spirit;  a broken  and  a contrite 
heart,  O God,  thou  wilt  not  despise.  “I  think  it  was  that,”  says  he,  “that  melted  me:  afterward  I 
began  to  inquire  after  Christ.”  He  was  earlv  accustomed  to  make  memorandums  of  the  sermons  which 
he  heard,  and  of  the  effect  they  had  upon  his  mind.  From  one  of  these  papers,  dated  December  17, 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


i 

1673,  it  appears  that  he  he  ird  a sermon  on  the  si^s  of  true  grace,  which  put  him  upon  the  strict  exa 
mination  of  himself  by  the  rules  which  had  been  laid  down;  and,  after  opening  his  mind  to  his  father,  he 
was  encouraged  to  draw  a f ivourable  conclusion  respecting  his  spiritual  state.  He  particularly  mentions 
his  repentance  for  sin,  according  to  the  scripture  account  of  it,  in  many  passages  which  he  tiyinscribes; 
his  solemn  dedication  of  himself  to  God,  according  to  the  tenor  of  the  gospel  covenant,  and  his  love  to 
God,  as  evidenced  by  his  love  to  the  people  of  God,  Avhom  he  ch‘  se  as  his  best  companions;  and  his  love 
to  the  word  of  God,  concerning  which  he  expresses  himself  thus:  “I  esteem  it  above  all;  I desire  it  as  the 
food  of  my  soul;  I greatly  delight  both  in  reading  and  hearing  it;  and  iny  soul  can  witness  subjection 
to  it,  in  some  measure;  I think  1 love  the  word  of  God  for  the  purity  of  it;  I love  the  ministers  and 
messengers  of  it;  I rejoice  in  the  good  success  of  it;  all  which  were  given  as  marks  of  true  love  to  the 
word,  in  a sermon  I lately  heard,  on  Psalm  cxix.  140.  Thy  word  is  very  fiure,  therefore  thy  seri'cint 
loveth  it.” 

In  the  same  paper,  which  contains  a catiilogue  “of  the  mercies  of  God  to  him,  both  temporal  and 
spiritual,”  he  mentions  it  as  matter  of  peculiar  thankfvdness  that  he  was  blessed  with  pious  parents, 
who  took  so  much  pains  in  his  education,  and  by  whose  means  he  was  brought  so  early  to  devote  him- 
self to  God.  After  noticing  with  thankfulness  his  recovery  from  an  ague  which  had  hung  long  upon 
him,  he  mentions  his  first  application  to  learning.  It  will  be  pleasing  to  the  reader  to  see  his  own  words. 

“ After  this  sickness,  in  the  year  1669,  I had  health,  and  began  to  learn  my  grammar.  Blessed  be 
God  that  gave  me  an  understanding!  Mr.  Turner  entered  me  a little  into  the  principles  of  grammar, 
and  my  father  has  carried  me  on  in  it;  the  Lord  grant  that  he  mav  li\’e  to  perfect  it!”  As  a proof  of 
his  affection  to  this  his  excellent  father,  as  well  as  of  his  piety  to  God,  the  following  addition  is  here  sub- 
joined: “In  March,  1669,  my  dear  father  had  a sore  fever;  we  thought  he  would  have  died;  but  our 
extremity  was  God’s  opportunity,  and  he  arose  and  helped  us.” 

It  was  observed  by  all  who  knew  him,  that  he  was  remarkaJjly  quick  in  learning  any  thing,  and  that 
he  possessed  a strong  memory  to  retain  it.  He  was  early  addicted  to  close  application  to  his  studies,  and 
remarkably  provident  of  his  time;  so  that  his  good  mother,  fearful  lest  he  should  injure  his  health,  was 
sometimes  obliged  to  call  him  down  from  his  closet  and  advise  him  to  take  a walk  in  the  fields. 

His  whole  conduct,  in  the  happy  family  of  which  he  w'as  a member,  was  amialjle  and  exemplary.  As 
he  ever  manifested  the  greatest  duty  and  deference  to  both  his  pious  parents,  sc  he  exercised  the  utmost 
affection  and  kindness  towards  his  sisters.  They  all  lived  together  in  the  most  delightful  unity:  and  he 
m ;de  it  his  business  and  his  pleasure  to  promote  their  best  interests,  both  by  his  admonitions  and  his 
pravers.  His  father  recommended  it  to  them  to  spend  an  hour  together  every  Saturday  afternoon,  in 
religious  exercises,  with  a view  to  their  preparation  for  the  sabbath;  and  he  conducted  them  with  great 
propriety,  to  their  mutual  advantage. 

He  was  always  very  regardful  of  his  father’s  instructions,  and  with  uncommon  diligence  he  attended 
to  his  preaching;  with  which  he  was  sometinjes  so  deeply  affected,  that,  as  soon  as  the  service  was  end- 
ed, he  would  retire  to  liis  closet,  to  weep  and  pray  (.'ver  what  he  had  been  hearing,  and  would  hardlv  he 
prevailed  upon  to  come  flown  to  dinner,  lest  tlie  memory  and  impression  of  it  should  be  effaced.  He 
sometimes  took  an  opportunity,  especially  in  walking  with  his  father,  to  relate  to  him  the  impressions 
which  his  discourses  made  upon  him,  and  to  o])en  to  him  freely  any  difficulties  that  occurred  to  his  mind; 
which  proved  of  excellent  use  for  his  further  information  and  encouragement. 

It  seems  that  Mr.  Henry  had  an  inclination  to  the  ministry  from  liis  childhood.  This  partly  appeared 
in  his  fondness  for  imitating  preaching,  which  he  did  with  a great  degree  of  propriety  and  gra^aty  beyond 
his  years;  as  also  in  his  frequent  attendance  at  the  private  meetings  of  good  people,  with  whom  he  w'ould 
prav,  and  repeat  sermons,  and  sometimes  expound  the  scriptures,  to  the  surprise  of  all  present.  One 
of  them  once  expressed  to  his  father  some  concern  lest  his  son  should  be  too  forward,  and  fall  into  tlie 
snare  of  spiritual  pride;  to  whom  the  good  man  replied,  “ Let  him  go  on;  he  fears  God  and  designs  well, 
and  I hope  God  will  keep  him  and  bless  him.” 

Mr.  Philip  Henry  was  used  generall}'  to  have  some  young  student  in  his  house,  previous  to  his  en- 
trance on  the  ministry,  who,  rvhile  he  was  a pupil  to  Mr.  Plenry,  acted  as  a tutor  to  his  children.  One 
of  these  was  Mr.  William  Turner,  who  was  born  in  that  neighbourhood,  and  had  studied  at  Edmund 
Hall,  Oxford.  He  was  afterward  many  years  vicar  of  Walliurton,  in  Sussex,  and  was  the  author  of 
a work  in  folio,  on  the  History  of  remarkable  Providences.  He  lived  with  Mr.  Henry  at  the  time  his  son 
entered  on  his  grammar,  and  was  the  person  referred  to  by  him  in  the  papers  quoted  above,  as  having 
initiated  him  into  the  Latin  language;  and  it  may  be  supposed,  from  his  great  pietv  and  studious  tum, 
that  he  was  in  other  respects  useful  to  him.  Mr.  M.  Henry  remained  uncler  his  father’s  eye  and  tuition 
till  he  was  about  eighteen  years  of  age,  from  which  he  enjoyed  singular  advantage  for  both  literary  and 
religious  attainments,  to  qualify  him  for  the  ministerial  effice;  and  he  soon  affcrcled  amj)le  proof  that  he 
had  not  enjoyed  them  in  vain.  As  his  constitution  grew  stronger  with  his  growing  years,  his  iTiind 
also  improved  in  knowledge,  grace,  and  holiness,  so  tl\at  he  was  richly  furnished  betimes  for  the 
important  office  to  which  he  had  devoted  his  life,hind  seemed  not  to  need  any  further  assistance  than  he 
had  enjoyed,  or  might  yet  enjoy,  under  the  tuition,  and  from  tlie  example,  of  such  a father,  who  was  not 
only  an  excellent  scholar  himself,  but  had  an  admirable  method  of  communicating  knowledge  to  others. 
He  was  desirous,  however,  that  his  son  might  enjoy  some  furtlier  ad\  antagcs  in  his  education  at  seme 
more  public,  seminary. 

Mr.  P.  Henry  had  Iieen  partial  to  a University,  having  himself  passed  some  years  at  Christ  Chnrcli, 
Oxford.  Rut  the  sad  alteration  w'hich  had  taken  place  in  those  sc  its  of  learning,  after  the  Restoratii  n, 
greatly  altered  his  opinion;  so  that,  to  pi-eser\  e his  son  from  the  snares  and  temptatiems  to  which  lie  might 
have  been  exposed  from  tlie  want  of  pro])cr  discipline,  he  determined  upon  sending  him,  in  the  ye.ir 
1680,  to  an  academy  which  was  then  kept  at  Islington  by  the  leamed  and  pious  Mr.  Thomas  Dooi.itti.e, 
who  trained  up  many  yrung  men  for  the  ministry,  who  made  a distinguished  figure  among'the  Protestant 
dissenters.  Here,  among  many  other  excellent  young {icrsons,  he  enjoyed  the  society  of  Mr.  Bur\-,  who 
was  from  the  same  ncighbourh''iod,  and  afterward  an  eminent  minister,  who  bore  this  honourable  testi- 
mony to  Mr.  Henrv’s  character  during  the  course  of  his  studies:  “ I was  never  better  pleased,”  says  he, 
“ when  I was  at  Mr.  Doolittle’s,  than  when  I was  in  young  Mr.  Henrv’s  company.  He  had  such  a savour 
of  religion  always  upon  his  siiirit,  was  of  such  a cheerful  tem]ier,  so  diffusive  of  ail  knowledge,  so  ready 
in  the  scriptures,  so  pertinent  in  all  his  petitions,  so  full  and  clear  in  all  liis  performances,  &c.  that  he  was 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


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to  me  a most  desirable  friend,  and  I love  heaven  the  better  since  he  went  thither.”  Mr.  Bury  observes, 
however,  that  “he  had  an  almost  inconceivable  quickness  in  his  speech,  but  that  he  afterward  hap])ilv 
corrected  it,  as  well  for  his  own  sake,  as  for  the  benefit  of  others.  ” 

Another  of  Mr.  Henry’s  fello>v-students  was  Mr.  Henry  Chandler,  afterward  an  eminent  minister 
at  Bath,  and  father  of  the  learned  Ur.  Chandler,  of  the  Old  Jury,  London.  In  a letter  to  Mr.  Tong,  he 
speaks  of  Mr.  Henry  in  the  following  respectful  terms:  “It  is  now  thirty-five  years  since  I had  the  hap- 
piness of  being  in  the  same  h vise  with  him,  so  that  it  is  im])ossil)le  I should  recollect  the  several  [par- 
ticul  u’sj  th  '.t  fixed  in  me  such  an  honourable  idea  f)f  him,  that  nothing  can  efface  while  life  and  reason 
last.  This  I perfectly  well  remembciq  that,  for  serious  piety  and  the  most  obliging  behaviour,  he  was 
universally  beloved  by  all  the  house.  ^Ve  were  near  thirty  pupils  when  Mr.  Henry  graced  and  enter- 
tained the  family,  and  I remember  n t that  ever  I heard  one  of  the  number  speak  a word  to  his  dispa- 
ngement.  I am  sure  it  was  the  common  ojnnicn,  that  he  was  as  sweet  tempered,  courteous,  and  obliging 
a gentleman  as  could  come  into  a house;  his  going  from  us  was  universally  lamented.” 

How  1' ng  he  continued  with  Mr.  Dodittle  is  not  quite  certain.  Such  ivas  the  persecuting  temper  of 
the  times,  that  this  good  num  was  obliged  to  leave  Islington,  (upon  which  he  removed  to  Battersea,)  and 
soon  after  to  disperse  his  pupils  into  prii  ate  families  at  Clapham,  to  which  place  it  does  net  appear  that 
Mr.  Henry  followed  them.  It  is  certain,  however,  that  when  he  quitted  this  academy,  he  returned  to 
his  father’s  house,  where  he  pursued  his  studies  with  great  assiduity.  Among  his  papers  is  one  dated 
Broad-Oak,  1682,  (about  which  time  it  seems  probable  that  he  returned  thither,)  which  is  a memorial 
of  the  mercies  which  he  had  received  from  the  hand  of  God  from  his  birth  to  that  time,  which  was  his 
birthday:  it  consists  of  twenty  six  particulars,  and  discovers  a lively  spirit  of  devotion. 

Mr.  Henry  was  now  twenty  j^ears  of  age,  and  had  made  great  improvement  in  all  the  branches  of 
science,  which  tended  to  fit  him  for  appearing  with  great  advantage  under  the  ministerial  character. 
But  it  does  not  appear  that  he  had  yet  begun  to  exercise  his  talents  in  public.  He  was,  howev  er,  fre- 
quently engaged  in  social  exercises  cf  devotion  among  the  good  people  of  his  father’s  acquaintance,  and 
who  resorted  to  that  house  of  prayer.  His  company  was  much  coveted  by  them,  and  they  were  highly 
gratified  by  his  visits,  which  he  was  ever  ready  to  make  to  the  meanest  of  them;  when  he  was  used  to 
pray  with  them,  and  converse  with  groat  freedom,  affection,  and  judgment,  on  their  spiritual  concerns. 
Greatly  delighted  were  they  to  see  such  a son  treading  so  closely  in  the  steps  of  such  a father;  and  his 
memory  was  long  precious  in  that  neighbourhood,  and  in  the  adjacent  country,  where  Mr.  Philip  Heniy 
used  frequently  to  preach  in  the  houses  of  those  pious  gentlemen  who  entertained  the  ejected  ministers, 
though  they  generally  attended  the  worship  of  the  established  church. 

As  the  times  were  dark,  and  the  circumstances  of  dissenting  ministers  were  very  discouraging,  Mr. 
Henry  had  no  prospect  of  a pastoral  settlement  with  a congregation;  he  therefore,  with  the  advice  of 
friends,  directed  his  thoughts  to  amither  and  very  different  employment.  He  had  formed  an  intimacy 
with  Rowland  Hunt,  Esq.  of  Boreaton,  who  married  the  daughter  of  Lord  Paget,  and  at  whose  house 
Mr._  P.  Henry  used  to  preach  once  a qiuuter,  and  administer  the  Lord’s  supper.  This  worthy  gentleman 
advised  his  father  to  enter  him  in  one  of  the  Inns  of  court,  for  the  study  of  the  law.  His  view  in  this 
was  not  to  divert  him  from  his  design  of  pursuing  the  work  of  the  ministry,  but  to  find  him  some  present 
employment  of  his  time,  as  he  was  but  young,  which  might  hereafter  be  advantageous  to  him,  not  only 
in  a temporal  view,  as  he  was  heir  to  a handsome  estate,  but  as  it  might  be  subservient  to  his  usefulness 
as  a minister.  Accordingly,  Mr.  Henry  went  to  Gray’s-Inn,  about  the  end  of  April,  1685. 

Some  of  his  friends  discovered  painful  apprehensions  lest  this  situation,  and  the  connexions  he  might 
here  form,  should  prove  unfavourable  to  his  religious  interest,  and,  in  the  issue,  divert  him  from  the 
sacred  office  to  which  his  former  studies  had  been  directed,  and  for  which  he  discovered  such  peculiar 
qualifications.  But  their  fears  happily  proved  groundless;  his  heart  was  fully  bent  for  God,  and  esta- 
blished with  grace;  so  that  he  still  maintained  his  steadfastness  amidst  all  the  temptations  with  which  he 
was  surrounded.  He  happily  formed  an  acqiuuntance  with  several  young  gentlemen,  then  students  of 
the  law,  who  were  exemplary  for  sobriety,  diligence,  and  religion,  who  were  ghid  to  receive  him  as  an 
intimate  associate,  and  with  whom  a mutual  friendship  continued  to  the  last.  Here  his  diligence  in 
study,  his  quick  apprehension,  his  rapid  proficiency,  his  tenacious  memory,  and  his  ready  utterance, 
induced  some  of  the  profession  t > think  that  he  would  have  been  eminent  in  the  practice  of  the  law,  had 
he  applied  himself  to  it  as  his  business.  But  he  felt  himself  under  no  temptation  to  relinquish  the  object 
of  his  first  resolution,  and  he  continually  kept  that  in  his  view,  habituating  himself  to  those  exercises 
which  might  further  his  preparation  for  it.  He  heard  the  most  celebrated  preachers  in  town;  among 
whom  he  seemed  to  be  best  pleased  with  Dr.  Stillingfleet,  at  St.  Andrew’s,  Holborn,  for  his  serious, 
practical  preaching;  and  with  Dr.  Tillotson,  at  Ijuwrence  Jewry,  for  his  admirable  seraicns  against 
po]iery.  He  accustomed  himself  to  take  iv  tes  of  what  he  heard;  and  he  constantly  sent  a short  scheme 
of  tiie  sermons  cu  lus  fcitiit  r,  Lovvii'im  uegciitiauy  wii  Lc  > v*».ck,  <^1,  ic.g  h.m  .ui  .tccoui.t  of  all 

remarkable  occurrences  with  great  judgment,  yet  with  all  the  caution  and  prudence  which  the  difficulties 
of  the  times  required. 

During  his  residence  inlirndon,  Mr.  Henry  not  only  attended  with  constancy  on  the  public  worship 
of  God,  but  he  promoted  social  ])rayer  and  religious  conference  with  his  particular  friends,  and  he  some- 
times expounded  the  scripture  to  them.  When  he  was  about  to  leave  them  he  delivered  to  them  an 
excellent  and  affecting  discourse,  on  2 Thess.  ii.  1.  Bi/  the  coming  of  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ,  and  our 
gathering  together  unto  him;  recommending  to  himself  and  them  the  hope  of  that  blessed  meeting,  as 
their  greatest  comfort,  now  they  were  about  to  part.  The  letters  which  he  wrote  to  his  friends 
while  he  continued  at  Gray’s-Inn,  discover  the  lively  sense  of  divine  things  which  he  preserved  upon 
his  mind,  of  which  an  excellent  one  of  great  length  is  published  by  Tong,  to  his  friend  Mr.  G.  Illidge, 
of  Nantwich,  whose  father’s  Memoirs  he  afterward  printed:  from  whence  it  appears  how  valua- 
ble a correspondent  he  was,  and  how  much  he  aimed  at  usefulness,  in  his  letters  as  well  as  in  Ins 
conversation. 

But  though  his  time  was  not  unprofitably  spent  in  London,  he  sometimes  complained  of  the  want 
which  he  felt  of  those  opportunities  which  he  had  enjoyed  in  his  father’s  house:  his  “ Broad-Oak  sab- 
baths, and  the  heavenly  manna,”  which  he  had  tasted  there;  and  expressed  his  earnest  wishes  to 
return.  Accordingly  in  the  month  of  June,  1686,  he  went  dowa  to  Broad-Oak,  and  continued  several 
months  in  the  country';  when  he  made  it  appear  that  his  residence  in  London,  and  his  study  of  the  law. 


6 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


had  been  no  way  prejudicial  to  his  religious  temper,  or  his  ministerial  qualificatlrns.  He  new  began 
to  preach  frequently  us  a candidate  for  the  ministry,  and  he  every  where  met  with  great  acceptance. 

About  this  time  he  went  to  visit  his  friend  Mr.  Illidge,  at  Nantwich,  wlio  had  been  in  a remarkable 
manner  brought  to  a sense  of  religion  by  the  ministry  of  Mr.  P.  Henry,  and  who  w^s  ve?-)-  zCcdous  in 
promoting  the  spiritual  benefit  of  his  neighbours.  Mr.  M.  Henry  spent  several  days  with  him,  and 
preaclied  in  his  house  every  evening  to  a considerable  number  of  people,  of  whom  several  dissclute  per- 
sons a])peared  to  be  deeply  impressed  with  what  they  heard.  One  instance  was  very  remarkable.  The 
last  evening,  Mr.  Henry  preached  on  Job  xxxvii.  22.  11  it/i  God  is  terrible  majesty.  Mr.  Illidge,  observ- 
ing one  man  present  whom  he  knew  to  be  notoriously  wicked,  went  the  irext  morning  to  his  he  use,  to 
see  what  imjjression  this  alarming  discourse  had  made  upon  him;  when  he  found  him  in  tears,  under  a 
deep  conviction  of  sin,  and  the  apprehension  of  misery.  He  found  his  wife  also  weeping  with  him,  on 
account  of  her  husband’s  distress.  Mr.  Illidge  gave  him  the  best  instruction  he  could,  and  prayed  with 
him.  He  also  made  known  his  case  at  Broad-Oak,  that  he  might  have  further  help  from  thence.  There 
soon  ajipeared  a great  change  in  him.  He  manifested  a deep  and  abiding  concern  about  his  eteinal  state, 
and  that  of  his  wife,  whom  he  taught  to  read.  He  set  up  prayer  in  his  family,  went  often  to  the  meeting 
at  Broad-Oak,  and  at  length  was  admitted  to  the  Lord’s  supper.  He  sometimes  spoke  of  the  joy  he 
felt  at  the  remembrance  of  what  God  had  done  for  him,  and  he  maintained  a hopeful  profession  of  reli- 
gion f r some  years.  His  wife  also  gave  proof  of  her  conversion,  and  died,  to  all  appearance,  a good 
Christian.  But  he  afterward  relapsed  into  sin,  to  the  great  grief  of  his  best  friends,  and  the  dishonour  of 
religion.  Whether  he  was  effectually  recovered  does  not  appear. 

Mr.  Henry’s  great  acceptance  and  success,  at  the  commencement  of  his  ministry,  encouraged  him  to 
pr  secute  it  with  increasing  ardour.  Having  occasion  to  take  a journey  to  Chester,  some  good  people 
there,  who  had  heard  of  his  fame,  desired  him  to  preach  to  them  one  evening  in  a private  house;  liberty 
for  public  wershi])  not  being  yet  granted.  He  readily  consented,  and  preached  three  evenings  succes- 
sively at  different  houses  in  the  city.  The  specimen  which  these  good  people  had  now  received  of  his 
talents  excited  in  them  an  earnest  desire  to  have  him  settle  with  them;  having  about  two  years  before, 
lost  two  aged  and  faithful  ministers;  and  another  in  the  city,  Mr.  Harvey,  being  far  advanced  in  years, 
and  preaching  very  privately.  Being  encouraged  by  a prevailing  reiiort  that  goveiTiment  was  disposed 
t ’ gr  >nt  indulgence  to  dissenters,  some  cf  them  went  abcut  the  latter  end  of  the  year  to  Broad-Oak,  to 
express  to  him  their  wishes  for  his  continued  services.  He  was  then  in  the  twenty  fifth  year  of  his  age. 
On  consulting  with  his  father,  and  thinking  there  was  the  voice  of  Providence  in  the  affair,  he  gave  them 
srme  encouragement  to  hope  for  a compliance  with  their  invitation,  if  liberty  should  be  granted,  provided 
Mr.  Harvey  consented,  and  they  would  wait  till  his  return  frem  London,  where  he  was  going  to  reside 
s me  months.  They  expressed  their  readiness  to  receive  him  upon  his  own  terms,  and  in  his  own  time. 

On  the  24th  of  January,  1687,  he  set  out  for  I.,ondon  with  the  only  son  of  his  friend  Mr.  Hunt.  At 
Coventrv  he  heard  that  there  had  been  a fire  at  Gray’s-Inn,  and  at  Hclborn’s-Court,  where  he  had  a 
chamber;  upon  which  he  wrote  to  his  father,  that  he  expected  that  the  effects  which  he  had  left  there 
were  all  lost;  but  on  his  arrival,  he  had  the  pleasure  to  find  that,  by  the  care  of  a chamber-fellow,  most 
of  them  were  saved.  The  first  material  news  he  heard  in  London,  was  that  the  king  had  granted  indulg- 
ence to  the  dissenters,  and  had  empowered  certain  gentlemen  to  give  out  licenses:  the  price  of  one  for  a 
single  person  was  ten  pounds;  but  if  several  joined,  sixteen  pounds;  and  eight  persons  might  join  in 
taking  out  one  license. 

Not  many  dissenters  took  out  these  licenses;  but  the  disposition  of  the  court  being  sufficiently  under- 
stood, manv  began  to  meet  publicly.  About  the  end  of  February,  Mr.  Henry  wrote  to  his  father,  that 
Mr.  Faldo,  a congregational  minister,  had  preached,  Ijoth  morning  and  afternoon,  to  many  hundi-ed 
Iieople,  at  Mr.  Sclater’s  meeting  in  Mom-fields.  The  people  of  Chester  now  reminded  him  of  his 
engagements  to  them,  the  propriety  of  which  he  sometimes  was  ready  to  question,  but  he  did  not  hesi- 
tate to  fulfil  them.  The  reverend  and  learned  Mr.  Woodcock  came  to  him,  and  tcld  him  that  he  wished 
to  engage  him  in  a lecture  which  was  set  up  chiefly  for  young  persons;  but  thanking  him  for  his  respect, 
he  modestly  declined  the  offer,  and  said  that  his  service  was  most  wanted  in  the  country,  and  might  be 
most  suitable  there. 

Mr.  Henry  now  began  to  think  seriously  on  the  business  of  ordination,  and  consulted  some  ministers 
about  it,  particularlv  Mr.  Tallents,  of  Salop,  who  had  been  some  time  in  London,  and  Mr.  James  Owen, 
who  was  lately  come  up  from  Oswestry,  both  of  whom  had  known  him  from  his  childhood,  and  they 
ga\  e him  all  possible  encouragement  in  this  design.  He  viewed  the  ministerial  office  in  so  awful  a light, 
that  he  set  himself  to  consider  the  engagement  into  which  a person  enters  in  his  ordination  to  it,  with 
the  greatest  senousness.  He  drew  up,  on  this  occasion,  chiefly  for  his  own  use,  a discourse  on  1 Tim. 
i\ . 15.  Give  thyself  wholly  to  them;  in  which  he  stated  the  nature  and  several  parts  of  the  ministerial 
work,  and  what  it  is  for  a man  to  be  whollxj  in  them,  fas  it  is  in  the  Greek,)  and  then  proceeded  tho- 
roughlv  to  examine  his  own  heart,  with  respect  to  his  fitness  for  them.  The  paper  is  entitled,  “Serious 
Self-examination  before  Ordination;”  with  this  text  prefixed:  Search  me,  O God,  and  know  my  heart, 
Uc.  “ It  is  worth  while,”  says  he,  “ for  a man  at  such  a time,  deliberately  to  ask  himself,  and  consci- 
entiouslv  to  answer,  the  six  following  questions:  1.  What  am  I?  2.  What  have  I donei*  3.  From  what 
principles  do  I act  in  this  undertaking?  4.  What  are  the  ends  I aim  at  in  it?  5.  What  do  I want?  6, 
What  arc  my  purposes  and  resolutions  for  the  future?” — To  each  of  these  questions  he  gives  a distinct 
answer,  in  several  particulars,  at  a very  considerable  length,  which  fill  more  than  four  large  folio  pages. 
The  whole  discovers  the  utmost  seriousness,  humility,  and  conscientious  regard  to  truth  and  dutv. 

About  this  time  a respectable  person,  whom  he  had  considted  about  his  ordination,  intimated  to  him 
an  apprehension  that  he  might  possibly  obtain  it  fi'om  one  of  the  bishops,  without  those  oaths  and  decla- 
rations to  which  the  dissenters  objected.  This  ])robably  took  its  rise  from  the  moderation  which  the 
clergy  were  now  disposed  to  show  towards  the  nonconformists,  in  consequence  of  the  king’s  declaration 
for  liberty  of  conscience,  which  they  knew  originated  in  his  intention  to  promote  poper>'.  Whether 
there  was  any  solid  ground  for  the  apprehension  or  not,  it  appears  that  the  intimation  of  his  fi-iend  induced 
Mr.  Hciirv  to  investigate  the  question  with  the  utmost  care  and  impartiality,  “Whether  it  be  advisable 
for  one  that  hath  devoted  himself  to  the  service  of  God  in  the  work  of  the  ministrv,  but  is  liy  no  means 
satisfied  with  the  terms  of  conformity,  to  choose  ordination  by  episcopal  hands  (if  it  may  be  had  with- 
out any  oaths  and  subscriptions)  rather  than  ordination  by  presbyters.  ” Having  fairly  stated,  in  wi-it- 


7 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


ing,  (dated  Ajiril  28,  1687,)  the  arguments  which  occurred  to  him  on  both  sides,  with  earnest  prayer  for 
direction,  he  determined  for  the  negative,  and  applied  to  those  ministers  in  London  to  whom  he  was  best 
known,  for  their  assistance  in  the  solemn  service. 

On  the  9th  of  May,  these  ministers  met  on  the  occasion,  but  where  it  was  we  have  no  account.  The 
times  were  such  as  rendered  a pri\  ate  ordination  most  eligible,  in  the  opinion  of  the  ordainers,  who  were 
all  cf  the  Presbyterian  denomination,  and  who  conducted  the  ser\ice  in  the  manner  which  was  common 
among  the  Presbyterians  of  that  day,  and  long  aftej*.  We  have  no  information  respecting  either  a ser- 
mon or  a charge  delivered,  as  is  usual  on  such  occasions;  but  among  Mr.  Henry’s  papers  was  found  the 
Latin  Thesis  which  he  delivered  on  the  question — An  juntijicemur  Hde  abnaue  o/ieribus  Legk?  Affir- 

matur. Mr.  Tong  has  given  an  abstract  of  it,  and  has  subjoined  Mr.  Henry  s confession  of  faith,  which 

perfectly  agrees  with  the  Assembly’s  Catechism. 

For  the  same  reason  that  the  ordainers  chose  to  have  the  service  performed  in  private,  they  declined 
giving  a certificate  of  the  ordination  in  the  usual  form,  (which  seemed  to  be  an  excess  of  caution,)  and 
only  gave  this  brief  testimonial: 


“We,  whose  names  arc  subscribed, 
of  tlie  gospel. 


‘A/fli/  9,  1687.” 


are  well  assured  that  Mr.  Matthew  Henry  is  an  ordained  minister 

Sic  Tester,  W.  Wickens, 

Fran.  Tallents, 

Edw.  Lawrence, 

Nath.  Vincent 
James  Owen, 

Rich.  Steele.” 


Of  so  much  importance  was  a regular  certificate  of  Presbyterian  ordination  esteemed  in  those  days, 
that  Mr.  Henyy,  after  he  had  been  settled  many  years,  and  had  many  living  e/iistles  to  witness  for  him, 
applied  to  the  ordainers  then  living  to  give  him  a certificate  in  form;  which  had  the  signatures  of  Mr. 
Tallents  and  Mr.  Owen,  dated  Dec.  17,  1702.  It  was  remarkable,  that  cne  of  the  above  ministers  who 
engaged  in  Mr.  Matthew  Henry’s  ordination,  was  also  employed  in  the  ordination  of  his  excellent  father, 
Mr.  Philip  Henry,  near  thirty  years  before.  This  was  Mr.  Richard  Steele,  the  author  of  that  valu- 
able Treatise  on  Old  Age. 

Mr.  Henry,  soon  after  his  ordination,  hastened  down  to  Chester,  to  enter  upon  his  pastoral  charge.  He 
left  London  the  latter  end  of  May,  and  went  first  to  Broad-Oak,  where  he  stayed  but  a short  time.  Se- 
veral persons  of  the  congregation  came  to  meet  him  there,  and  conducted  him  to  Chester,  where  it  is 
needless  to  say  how  joyfully  he  was  received,  especially  on  account  of  the  liberty  which  was  now  granted 
to  the  dissenters,  though  the  object  of  the  king  in  granting  it  was  sufficiently  known.  Worship  had 
hitherto  been  kept  up  in  the  house  ( f Mr.  Henthorne,  which  was  large  and  commodious,  but  only  be- 
tween and  after  the  hours  of  public  sein  ice  at  the  established  church,  where  most  of  the  people  attended 
to  hear  Dr.  Fogg  and  Dr.  Hancock,  whose  ministry  they  highly  valued.  Their  numbers,  however,  so 
much  increased,  that  it  was  found  necessary  to  provide  a larger  place.  With  this  Mr.  Henthorne,  who 
was  zealous  in  the  cause,  soon  accommodated  them  against  the  time  of  Mr.  Henry’s  coming;  having  a 
large  out-building  belonging  to  the  Friary,  which  was  in  his  possession.  The  work  of  fitting  it  up  was 
begun  on  a Mondav,  and  it  was  in  sufficient  forwardness  to  be  opened  for  worship  the  next  Lord’s  day. 
But  Mr.  Henry  did  not  arrive  till  the  Thursday  following,  which  was  the  lecture-day,  when  he  preached 
his  first  sermon,  on  1 Cor.  ii.  2.  I determined  net  to  know  any  thing  among  you,  save  Jesus  Christ,  and  him 
crucified.  Mr.  Tong,  who  was  present  on  the  occasion,  says,  “ I am  a witness  that  they  received  him 
as  an  angel  of  God.  ” But  before  he  would  preach,  such  was  his  respect  to  the  aged  and  worthy  Mr. 
Harvey,  that  he  made  him  a visit,  in  order  to  be  satisfied  that  his  coming  to  Chester  was  with  his  ap- 
probation; for  without  it,  he  assured  him  that  he  would  return.  The  good  old  man  soon  satisfied  him 
on  this  head,  telling  him  that  there  was  work  cncugh  in  Chester  for  them  both.  They  afterward  lived 
in  the  most  perfect  hannony.  Mr.  Henry  constantly  attended  his  Tuesday  lecture,  and  always  behaved 
towards  him  as  a son  to  a father.  He  also  advised  all  his  friends  to  show  him  all  possible  respect,  as 
a faithful  minister  of  Christ,  who  had  many  yeai  s laboured  there  in  the  gospel,  and  had  also  been  a suf- 
ferer for  it. 

Mr.  Henry’s  situation  at  Chester  proved  highly  agreeable  to  him,  on  account  of  the  valuable  society 
he  met  with  there,  and  it  was  soon. rendered  the  more  so,  as  three  of  his  sisters  were  providentially 
brought  to  reside  in  that  ])lace,  in  consequence  of  their  being  married  to  respectable  and  pious  men,  who 
belonged  to  his  congregation,  (Mr.  Radford,  Mr.  Holtc'n,  and  Dr.  Tilston,)  to  whom  he  conducted  him- 
self with  a truly  fraternal  affection.  But  a yet  more  agreeable  and  important  circumstance  was  his  en- 
trance into  the  conjugal  state,  with  a ladv  who  was  possessed  of  every  qualification  to  render  that  state 
happy.  This  was  Mrs.  Katharine,  daughter  of  Mr.  John  Hardware,  of  Moldsworth.  On  his  first 
proposal,  ^cme  obstacles  lay  in  the  way,  but  they  were  so  completely  removed,  that  the  match  was  as 
agreeable  to  her  parents  as  it  was  to  his,  so  that  they  came  to  reside  at  Chester,  and  they  all  lived  to- 
gether. But  this  pleasing  scene,  like  many  earthly  ones,  was  of  very  short  continuance;  for  within  a year 
and  a half  Mrs.  Henry  was  seized,  in  childbed,  with  the  smallpox,  and  died,  14,  1689,  though  the 
child  was  spared.  Mr.  Tong,  who  lived  within  eighteen  miles,  came  to  visit  this  house  of  mourning;  who, 
having  described  the  manner  in  which  the  tender  mother  was  affected,  says  cf  Mr.  Henry,  the  first 
words  he  spoke  to  him,  with  man}^  tears  were  these:  “ I know  nothing  could  siqiport  me  under  such  a 
loss  as  this,  but  the  good  hope  I have  that  she  is  gone  to  heac'cn,  and  that  in  a little  time  I shall  fellow 
her  thither.” 

It  was  no  small  alleviation  of  his  grief,  that  the  child  was  spared.  His  good_  father  came  to  visit  him 
on  the  occasion,  when  he  baptized  the  child  in  public,  and  the  scene  was  peculiarly  solemn  and  affecting. 
Mr.  Henry,  on  presenting  his  child  in  baptism,  (whom  he  named  after  her  mother,)  professed  his  faith 
and  renewed  his  covenant,  in  a most  affecting  manner,  and  then  added,  “Although  my  house  be  not  so 
with  God,  yet  he  hath  made  wnth  me  an  everlasting  covenant,  &c.  I offer  up  this  my  child  to  the  great 
God,  a plant  out  of  a dry  ground,  desiring  it  maybe  implanted  into  Christ.”  Every  heart  was  full,  and 
few  dry  eyes  were  seen. 


8 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


Under  this  severe  affliction,  God  strengthened  his  heart  and  his  hands,  so  that  he  pursued  his  work 
with  his  usual  diligence  and  vivacity.  At  length  a kind  providence  repaired  his  loss,  and  the  mother  of 
his  deceased  wife  was  the  means  of  procuring  him  another.  She  recommended  to  him  the  daughter  of 
Robert  Warburton,  Esq.  of  Grange,  the  son  of  Peter  Warburton,  Esq.  serjeant  at  law,  and  one  of 
the  judges  of  the  common  pleas.  He  was  a gentleman  fond  of  retirement,  who  constantly  had  the  Bible 
and  Baxter’s  “Saint’s  Rest”  on  the  table  before  him,  and  whose  house  was  a sanctuaiy  to  the  silenced 
ministers.  Mr.  Heniy’s  marriage  to  this  lady  was  consummated,  July  8th,  the  same  year,  at  Grange, 
when  both  his  father  and  mother  were  present,  who  were  greatly  pleased  ^vith  the  new  relation,  and 
blessed  God  who  had  thus  filled  up  the  breach.  Mr.  and  Mrs.  Hardware  now  left  Chester,  and  retired 
to  an  estate  which  they  had  in  Wirral,  but  their  affection  for  Mr.  Henry  as  a son  continued. 

From  this  time  he  kept  a regular  diary  of  all  material  occurrences  and  transactions  to  the  end  of  his 
life;  a practice  which  he  had  lately  recommended  to  his  friends,  in  a discourse  on  Redeeming  the  time. 
From  this  diary  of  his  the  ^following  part  of  his  history  is  principally  taken. — We  shall  now  give  some 
account  of  his  family  by  this  second  marriage,  and  the  manner  in  which  he  governed  it. 

In  the  space  of  twenty  two  years  he  had  nine  children,  eight  of  which  were  daughters.  Three  of 
them,  namely,  the  first,  second,  and  fourth,  died  in  their  infancy.  The  first  of  these  children  was  bom, 
Afiril  12,  1691,  on  which  occasion  he  made  his  will;  but  she  died  in  about  a year  and  a half.  In  his  diarj- 
he  makes  many  pious  remarks  on  this  event,  and  the  night  of  her  funeral  he  writes  thus:  “ I have  been 
this  day  doing  a work  I never  did  before — burying  a child.  A sad  day’s  work ! But  my  good  friend,  Mr. 
Lawrence,  preached  very  seasonably  and  excellently,  from  Psalm  xxxix.  9.  / %vas  dumb,  I ofiened  not 
my  mouth,  because  thou  didst  it.'’ 

On  the  birth  of  the  fourth  of  these  children,  he  writes,  June  24,  1697,  “ This  child  has  come  into  a 
world  of  tears;”  for  his  pious  father,  who  had  taken  a pleasure  in  coming  to  baptize  his  grandchildren, 
(which  he  did  in  a peculiarly  interesting  manner,)  was  now  dead,  and  he  was  particularly  affected  at 
the  recollection  of  that  event,  as  it  happened  the  very  same  day  of  the  month  the  preceding  year.  But 
says  he,  “ God  has  set  the  one  over  against  the  other,  that  I may  sing  of  mercy  and  judgment.  ” But  this 
child  was  taken  away  in  less  than  a year  and  a half;  upon  which  occasion  he  writes,  “ My  desire  is  to^ 
be  sensible  of  the  affliction,  and  yet  be  patient  under  it.  It  is  a smarting  rod;  God  calls  my  sins  to  re-' 
membrance — the  coldness  of  my  love,  my  abuse  of  spiritual  comforts.”  But  he  adds,  “ ’Tis  a rod  in  the 
hand  of  mv  Father.  I desire  to  see  a father’s  authority,  who  may  do  what  he  will;  and  a father’s  love, 
who  will  do  what  is  best.  We  resign  the  soul  of  the  child  to  Him  who  gave  it. — I am  in  deaths  often; 
Lord,  teach  me  how  to  die  daily,”  &c. 

On  May  3,  1700,  God  was  pleased  to  give  him  a son.  But  his  birth  was  attended  with  such  uncom- 
mon danger  both  to  the  mother  and  the  child,  that  he  mentions  it  as  a miracle  of  mercy  that  their  lives 
were  spared.  This  child  Mr.  Henry  himself  baptized  on  the  lecture  day,  in  the  following  week,  by  the 
name  of  Philip,*  when  he  preached  on  the  occasion  from  2 Sam.  vii.  14.  15.  When  this  child  was  about 
a month  old,  he  was  so  ill  that  there  was  but  little  hope  of  his  life;  and  Mrs.  Henry  continued  in  such 
weakness,  increased  by  her  anxiety  about  her  infant,  that  she,  and  all  her  friends,  expected  her  speedy 
dissolution.  But  God  mercifully  interposed,  and  restored  both  her  and  her  child.  On  this  occasion  Mr. 


diary  affords  ample  proof  how  he  acknowledged  ' 
took  in  the  concerns  of  all  with  whom  he  was  connected. 

We  shall  now  notice  his  conduct  in  his  family,  which  was  in  a great  measure  regulated  by  the  exam- 
ple of  his  pious  father,  of  whose  house  those  who  had  access  to  it  were  ready  to  say.  This  is  no  other  than 
the  house  of  God,  and  the  gate  of  heaven.  Mr.  Hemy  was  constant  in  the  worship  of  God  in  his  family, 
morning  and  evening,  which  nothing  was  suffered  to  prevent.  He  called  all  the  members  of  it  together  as 
early  in  the  morning  as  circumstances  would  permit;  and  he  did  not  delay  it  to  a late  hour  in  the  evening, 
lest  drowsiness  should  prevent  devotion.  He  was  never  tedious,  but  always  full  and  comprehensive, 
performing  much  in  a little  time,  which  seldom  exceeded  half  an  hour.  He  began  with  a short  invocation 
tor  assistance  and  acceptance.  He  then  read  a portion  of  scripture,  (in  the  morning  from  the  Old  Testa- 
ment, and  from  the  New  in  the  evening,)  giving  a short  exposition,  in  a plain  and  familiar  manner,  so  as 
to  render  it  both  intelligible  and  pleasant,  and  added  practical  reflections.  To  engage  the  greater 
attention,  he  used  to  examine  some  of  his  family  how  they  understood,  and  what  they  remembered  of 
what  they  had  heard.  After  this,  some  part  of  a psalm  was  constantly  sung,  from  a collection  which  he 
himself  made,  entitled,  “Family  Hymns,”  selected  froin  different -translations  of  the  psalms;  and  every 
one  had  a book,  to  prevent  the  interruption  occasioned  by  reading  the  lines.  After  singing,  he  prayed 
with  great  affection  and  propriety,  noticing  every  particular  case  in  his  family,  and  not  omitting  the  state 
oi  the  iiAiOii  ctiid  tiii..  i ai3  vaVi^-*.^  pi'c.’Ci..cd  the  ..v'l'.icc  A. cm  ccing  t^diouc,  aiid  his  v/hole 

family  attended  it  with  jileasure.  When  the  whole  was  ended,  the  children  came  to  him  for  his  blessing, 
which  he  gave  with  solemnitv  and  affection. 

Beside  his  stated  familv  worship,  he  occasionally  kept  family  fasts,  as  special  circumstances  required; 
when  he  sometimes  called  in  the  assistance  of  his  friends,  whose  respective  cases  and  trials  were  com- 
mitted to  God  with  his  own. 

On  the  Lord’s  day  he  did  not  omit  any  part  of  his  ordinary  family  worship,  but  rising  earlier  on  that 
day,  after  his  private  devotion  he  began  it  somewhat  sooner.  On  returning  from  the  public  morning 
service,  after  he  had  dined,  he  sung  a psalm,  offered  a short  prayer,  and  then  retired  till  the  time  of  the 
afternoon  service.  In  the  evening  he  usually  repeated  the  substance  of  both  his  sermons,  in  his  family, 
when  many  of  his  neighbours  came  in:  this  he  followed  with  singing  and  pv  iyer,  and  concluded  with 
singing  two  verses  more,  previous  to  the  benediction.  Before  siqiper,  he  catechised  the  jmungcr  children: 
after  supper,  he  sung  the  136th  Psalm,  and  catechised  the  elder  children  and  servants  ; examined  them  as 
to  what  they  remembered  of  the  sennons,  and  concluded  the  day  with  prayer.  Having  a happy  consti- 
tution both  of  body  and  of  mind,  he  went  through  all  this  service  with  constancy  and  comfort,  beside  all 


* It  nppr>nr-j  tlint  h(t  took  tit"  nnmt'  of  Warburton,  upon  Inbpritinc  the  potato  of  hit^mat 
a propriety  in  bis  I'  lintinisliiin:  tiie  namtt  of  Henry,  as  he  h.id  ilepai  ted  from  the  spirit  of  tiis  pi 
i\  bo  often  tendpriy  ni'-ntions  liim  in  liis  diary,  did  not  live  to  wi'nesstho  unliappy  cliange. 


,..;prnal  irandfathPr:  and  tbere  was  too  P-' 
pious  ancestors  of  that  name.  But  his  faih.e 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


9 


his  ministerial  work  in  public,  which  he  performed  without  any  assistance,  and  which  we  now  proceed 
to  notice. 

Mr.  Heniy  having  chosen  the  Christian  ministry  as  the  grand  business  of  Ids  life,  set  himself  to  discharge 
the  duties  oi  it,  as  soon  as  he  obtained  a settlement,  w th  indefatigable  industry  and  with  equal  delight, 
being  willing  to  spend  and  be  sj)ent  in  the  service  of  Christ,  and  for  the  good  of  souls.  His  stated  public 
services  in  his  own  congregation,  which  were  far  from  the  whole  of  his  labours,  were  such  as  few  other 
persons  could  have  gene  through.  His  method  of  proceeding  in  them  was  as  follow  s: 

He  began  the  public  worship  exactly  at  nine  o’clock,  with  singing  the  100th  Psalm;  then  offered  a short 
prayer,  and  next  read  some  portion  of  the  Old  Testament  in  course,  and  expounded  it  in  the  same  manner 
as  appears  in  his  printed  Exposition.  He  went  through  the  Bible  twice  while  he  was  at  Chester,  and  ( n 
his  lectui’e-day  he  expounded  all  the  Psalms  not  less  than  five  times.  After  his  jiublic  exposition  was 
ended,  he  sung  a second  time,  and  prayed  for  about  half  an  hour.  After  which  he  preached  about  an 
hour,  then  prayed,  and  usually  concluded  with  singing  the  117th  Psalm.  He  pursued  the  same  plan  in 
the  afternoon,  excepting  that  he  then  expounded  the  New  I'estament,  and  at  the  close  sung  the  I34th 
Psalm,  or  some  verses  of  the  136th.  In  singing,  he  always  made  use  of  David’s  Psalms,  or  other  §cnpture 
hymns,  which  he  preferred  to  such  as  are  w'holly  of  human  composition,  the  latter  being  generally  liable 
to  this  exception:  “ that  the  fancy  is  too  high,  and  the  matter  too  Ioav,  and  semetimes  such  as  a w ise  and 
good  man  may  not  be  able,  with  entire  satisfaction,  to  offer  up  as  a sacrifice  to  God.”*  In  this  work  of 
praise  he  took  great  delight,  as  appeared  from  the  manner  in  which  he  engaged  in  it. 

In  PRAYER,  Mr.  Henry’s  gifts  and  graces  eminently  appeared.  He  had  a wonderful  faculty  of  engaging 
the  attention  and  raising  the  affections  of  the  worshippers.  Though  in  his  seernd  prayer  he  was  ahvays 
copious,  yet  he  was  not  tedious.  It  was  always  suited  to  the  congregation,  to  the  sermon,  to  the  state  of 
the  nation,  and  to  the  church  of  God.  His  petitions  for  the  afflicted  w’ere  very  particular,  pertinent,  and 
affectionate.  In  regard  to  public  affairs,  he  was  never  guilty  of  profaning  the  worship  of  God  by  intro- 
ducing any  thing  obnoxious  to  government,  or  offensive  to  persons  of  any  party;  nor,  on  the  other  hand, 
by  giving  flattering  titles  to  any  description  of  men.  The  state  of  the  reformed  churches  abroad  was 
much  upon  his  heart,  and  he  was  a fervent  intercessor  for  those  of  them  that  suffered  persecution  for 
righteousness’  sake. 

How  great  a talent  he  had  in  preaching,  is  sufficiently  known,  from  the  many  sermons  of  his  which 
are  before  the  public.  He  was  very  happy  in  his  choice  of  subjects,  and  of  apposite  texts,  especially  on 
particular  occasions  and  occurrences,  public  or  private,  which  he  was  always  ready  to  improve.  His 
method  in  his  sermons  was  just  and  ea^';  his  language  plain,  sententious,  and  scriptural;  his  elccu 
tion  natural,  and  free  from  any  odd  or  affected  tone;  his  address  was  popular,  earnest,  and  affectionate; 
both  he  himself  and  his  auditory  were  often  transported  into  tears.  The  strain  of  his  preaching  was 
spiritual,  evangelical,  and  practical.  He  shunned  not  to  declare  the  whole  counsel  of  God.  He  delighted 
in  preaching  Christ  and  the  doctrines  of  free  grace;  but  with  equal  zeal  he  preached  up  holiness  in  all  its 
branches,  constantly  affirming  it  to  be  a faithful  saying.  That  they  ivho  beliex'e  in  God  should  be  careful 
to  maintain  good  works.  He  was  indeed  so  practical  a preacher,  and  semetimes  used  such  a phraseology 
in  treating  on  practical  subjects,  that  some  have  censured  him  as  being  too  legal;  but  he  was  no  mere  of 
a legalist  than  the  apostle  James,  whom  he  knew  well  how  to  reconcile  with  the  apostle  Paul. 

It  was  a common  custom  with  Mr.  Henry  to  preach  a series  of  sermons  upon  a particular  subject,  which 
sometimes  took  up  several  years.  But  he  did  not  follow  the  practice  of  several  old  divines,  who  delivered 
a great  number  of  discourses  on  the  same  text:  his  method  was,  to  prevent  the  tedicusness  of  such  a prac- 
tice, to  fix  upon  different  texts  for  all  the  different  parts  of  the  subject  which  he  discussed.  By  thus 
treating  upon  the  various  branches  of  faith  and  practice  in  this  connected  view,  as  well  as  by  his  exposition 
of  the  Bible  in  course,  his  hearers  had  peculiar  advantage  for  improving  in  scripture  knowledge,  above 
ttiose  whose  ministers  only  discourse  upon  short  detached  passages:  accordingly  it  was  remarked,  that 
Mr.  Henry’s  people  in  general  greatly  excelled  in  judgment  and  spiritual  understanding. 

Mr.  Tong  has  given  a list  of  the  subjects  which  Mr.  Henry  thus  discussed  in  their  connexion,  which 
would  here  occupy  too  much  room.  The  following  is  a brief  specimen.  Soon  after  he  settled  at  Chester, 
he  delivered  a set  of  sermons  on  the  guilt  and  misery'  of  an  unconverted  state,  from  several  texts:  in 
another,  he  treated  on  conversions.  After  these,  he  preached  a series  of  discourses  on  a well  ordered 
conversation,  beginning  with  one  on  Psalm  1.  23.  Each  sermon  contained  a distinct  direction,  grounded 
on  a separate  text.  A brief  sketch  of  these  may  be  acceptable  and  useful.  1.  Fix  a right  principle  of 
grace  in  the  heart,  2 Cor.  i.  12.  latter  part.  2.  Eye  th^ospel  of  Christ  as  your  great  rule,  Phil.  i.  27. 
3.  Set  the  Lord  always  before  vou,  Ps.  xvi.  8.  4.  Keep  your  hearts  with  all  diligence,  Prov.  iv.  23. 

5.  Abide  under  the  fear  of  God,  Prov.  xxiii.  17.  6.  Be  not  conformed  to  the  world,  Rom.  xii.  2.  7.  Live 
in  constaih  dependence  upon  Christ,  Col.  iii.  17.  8.  Take  off  your  affections  from  present  things,  1 John 


15.  9.  Peahv; 


'/ays 


:p  a ccnscicncc  \'cid  of  cffcncc.  Acts  xxiv.  16. 
11.  Live  by  faith.  Gal.  ii.  20.  12.  Commune  much  with  your  own  hearts,  Ps.  iv.  4.  13.  Watch  the  door 

of  your  lips,  Ps.  xxxix.  1.  14.  Follow  the  steps  of  the  Lord  Jesus,  1 Pet.  ii.  21.  15.  Set  before  you  the 

example  of  the  saints,  Heb.  vi.  12.  16.  Be  very  cautious  of  your  company,  Prov.  xiii.  20.  17.  Make 

conscience  how  you  spend  your  time,  Eph.  v.  16.  18.  Pray  to  God  for  holy  wisdom,  James  v.  1.  19. 

Often  think  of  death  and  judgment,  2 Pet.  iii.  11.  20.  Converse  much  with  heaven,  Phil.  iii.  20. 

He  next  delivered  a set  of  sermons  for  the  consolation  of  God’s  people,  on  the  covenant  of  grace:  e.  g. 
God  in  the  covenant;  a Father — a Husband — a Shepherd — a King,  &c.  Christ  in  the  covenant;  our 
Righteousness — our  Life — our  Peace — our  Hope:  in  all  his  offices;  Redeemer,  High  Priest,  Captain, 
Forerunner,  and  Friend.  The  Holy  S/iirit  in  the  covenant;  a Teacher — a Comforter — a Spirit  of 
adoption — an  Earnest.  Blessings  in  the  covenant;  pardon — ^peace — grace-access  to  God — ordinances — 
providences — creatures — death — ^heaven.  These  took  him  nearly  a year  and  a half.  He  next  treated 
on  sanctification,  in  all  its  branches;  which  sermons  were  followed  by  another  set,  on  divine  worship, 
private  and  public,  with  various  directions  concerning  each.  After  this,  he  delivered  another  series,  on 
relative'duties  in  all  their  extent.  These,  with  some  others  in  connexion  with  them,  brought  him  to  the 
year  1698,  when  he  began  a body  of  divinity,  which  (with  occasional  discourses)  occupied  him  till  the 


• Mr.  Henry’s  judgment  and  practice  in  this  matter  deserve  the  serious  consideration  of  those  who  perpetuary  sing  Hymns  of  mete  ImmaB 
composition,  .timost  to  the  exclusion  of  David’s  Psalms. 

VoL.  L— B 


10 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


year  1712.  Those  who  wish  to  see  the  whole  plan,  which  is  very  extensive  and  methodical,  are  referred 
to  Mr.  Tong’s  Life  of  the  author;  where  may  be  seen  a sketch  of  his  lectures  on  a weekday,  and  his 
sacramental  discourses. 

Another  part  of  Mr.  Henry’s  constant  work  was  catechising,  in  which  he  engaged  with  peculiar 
delight,  from  his  affection  to  the  young;  for  which  he  was  eminently  qualified,  by  his  happy  talent  for 
adapting  his  instnictions  to  the  weakest  capacities.  The  time  which  he  set  apart  for  this  service  was  the 
Saturday  afternoon,  when  many  besides  the  catechumens  were  used  to  attend,  and  esteemed  it  a profitable 
exercise.  He  usually  spent  about  hour  in  it,  and  both  began  and  ended  with  prayer,  in  which  his 
expressions  were  very  plain  and  affectionate.  He  used' the  Assembly’s  Catechism  with  the  elder  children: 
but  did  not  content  himself  with  hearing  them  repeat  the  answers,  but  divided  them  into  several  short 
propositions,  and  put  a distinct  question  to  each,  explaining  every  part  in  a familiar  manner,  and  sup- 
porting it  by  a suitable  text  of  scripture.  His  method  of  catechising  may  be  seen  in  the  addition  of  the 
.Assembly’s' Catechism  which  he  published,  which  is  entitled,  “A  Scripture  Catechism  in  the  method  of 
the  Assembly’s;”  a text  of  scripture  being  annexed  to  the  answer  to  every  subordinate  question,  grounded 
on  the  general  answer  in  that  system;  by  which  means  children  had  a large  collection  of  scripture 
passages  treasured  up  in  their  memories. 

But  we  are  informed  that  an  excellent  and  judicious  friend  of  Mr.  Henry,  “Mr.  Charlton  of  Man- 
chester, thinking  even  the  Shorter  Catechism  of  the  Assembly  too  long  for  children,  and  some  parts  of 
it  too  abstruse,  and  quite  above  their  capacity,  desired  and  pressed  _Mr.  Henry  to  draw  up  a shorter  and 
plainer  catechism  for  children  very  young,”  which  accordingly  he  did;  and  in  the  collection  of  his  works 
it  is  prefixed  to  the  former.  Its  title  is,  “ A plain  Catechism 'for  Children.”  To  which  is  added,  “An- 
other for  the  instiTiction  of  those  who  are  to  be  admitted  to  the  Lord’s  Supper.  ” 

In  this  work  of  catechising,  Mr.  Henry  was  remarkably  blessed  of  God:  for  he  had  the  desire  of  his  soul, 
in  seeing  the  good  work  of  grace  begam  in  many  of  his  young  people,  in  whom  he  afterward  had  much 
pleasure,  as  they  proved  honourable  and  useful  members  of  his  church;  though  some,  of  whom  he  had 
entertained  good  hopes,  turned  out  loose  and  vain,  to  his  unspeakable  sorrow. 

The  ordinance  of  the  Lord’s  Supper  Mr.  Henry  was  used  constantly  to  administer  on  the  first  Lord’s 
day  in  every  month,  not  merely  as  this  was  customary  in  most  other  churches,  but  in  conformity  to  the 
practice  of  the  Jews,  who  observed  the  beginnings  of  their  months  as  holy,  though  he  did  not  think  their 
law  about  the  new  moons,  &c.  to  be  obligatory  on  Christians.  In  the  manner  of  administering  this  ordi- 
nance he  was  particularly  excellent,  and  is  said  herein  to  have  excelled  himself.  On  his  lecture-days 
in  the  week  before  the  sacrament,  he  had  a series  of  subjects  adapted  to  that  institution.  And  he  followed 
his  father’s  judgment  and  practice  in  encouraging  young  persons  to  come  to  the  table  of  the  Lord,  to 
fulfil  their  baptismal  covenant.  Among  his  catechumens  he  marked  those  whom  he  looked  upon  as 
intelligent  and  serious,  with  this  view;  when  he  had  a competent  number  of  such  in  his  eye,  he  appointed 
them  separately  to  come  to  him,  to  converse  with  them  about  their  spiritual  state;  and  if  he  perceived 
good  evidence  of  their  real  piety,  he  recommended  it  to  them  to  give  themselves  up  to  the  Lord  and  his 
church.  For  several  Lofd’s  days  he  catechised  them  publicly  concerning  this  ordinance;  and  the  week 
preceding  the  administration,  he  preached  a sermon  adapted  to  their  circumstances,  acconmanied  with 
suitable  prayers  for  them,  and  then  they  were  all  received  into  the  church  together.  This  MTr.  P,  Henry 
considered  as  the  proper  confirmation,  or  transition  into  a state  of  adult  and  complete  church  member- 
ship; and  his  son,  in  all  that  was  material,  adopted  his  method,  in  which  he  had  much  satisfaction,  from 
observing  the  great  utility  of  it. 

The  other  positive  institution,  that  of  baptism,  he  administered  with  equal  solemnity,  and  he  always 
desired  to  have  it  in  public,  unless  there  was  some  peculiar  reason  against  it.  Mr.  Henry  had_  as  little 
of  the  spirit  of  a sectarian  about  him  as  any  man,  and  he  lived  in  great  friendship  and  affection  with 
many  good  men,  who  differed  from  him  in  regard  to  this  controverted  subject.  But  he  was  firm  in  his 
opinion  about  infant  baptism,  and  thought  it  a matter  of  no  small  importance,  though  by  no  means  one  of 
the  essentials  of  religion;  as  he  considered  it  to  be  capable  of  being  applied  to  very  good  purpose  in  a 
practical  view,  which  was  his  grand  object  in  his  administration  of  it. 

Mr.  Tong,  in  this  part  of  Mr.  Henry’s  Life,  says,  “His  thoughts  (upon  this  subject)  he  has  with  great 
Judgment  digested,  in  an  excellent  treatise,  which  well  deserves  to  be  made  public,  and  I hope  will  be 
in  a little  time.  The  doctrinal,  historical,  and  practical  part  of  the  ordinance  are  stated  and  discussed 
with  great  perspicuity,  seriousness,  and  spirituality.  ” The  writer  of  this  narrative  can  attest  the  justice 
of  Mr.  Tong’s  account  of  the  work,  having  had  the  pleasure  of  penising  the  manuscript.  It  may  seem 
surprising  tliat  so  elaborate  a performance,  by  so  eminent  a writer,  should  have  been  suffered  to  lie  so 
long  in  obscurity;  especially  as  it  is  written  not  merely  in  a erntroversial  manner,  but  for  the  most  part 
practical,  and  very  much  in  the  spirit  of  his  “Treatise  on  the  Lord’s  Supper.”  One  chief  reason  might 
probably  be,  its  prolixity;  and  another,  his  laying  on  some  things  more  stress  than  they  will  bear.  These 
circumstances  rendered'  it  highly  desirable  that  the  work  should  be  abridged.  This  was  accordingly 
undertaken,  at  the  urgent  desire  of  some  judicious  persons  who  were  acquainted  with  the  manuscript, 
by  the  Rev.  Thomas  Robins,  when  tutor  of  the  academy  at  Daventry,  who  had  been  the  pastor  of 
some  of  the  author’s  descendants,  at  "Westbromwich;  and  he  executed  the  work  with  such  propriety, 
that  the  abridgment  is  better  adapted  to  answer  the  worthy  author’s  end,  as  a useful  family  book,  than 
the  original,  and  well  deserves  to  be  republished.  This  treatise  is  particularly  calculated  to  lead  those 
who  approve  infant  baptism,  both  parents  and  children,  to  m:ike  the  best  practical  use  of  the  ordinance. 

Visiting  the  sick  Mr.  Henry  considered  as  :m  important  part  of  ministerial  duty,  and  he  was  diligent 
in  the  discharge  of  it.  He  never  refused  to  attend  the  rich  or  the  poor,  when  sent  for,  whether  they 
were  such  as  he  knew,  or  strangers,  whether  resident  in  the  town,  or  travellers,  among  whom  were 
many  passengers  to  or  from  Ireland;  or  whether  they  were  persons  of  his  own  communion,  or  of  the 
established  church,  among  the  latter  of  whom  many  desired  his  attendance  in  their  illness.  He  often 
inquired  of  his  friends  whether  they  knew  of  any  who  were  sick;  and  when  bills  were  put  up,  desiring 
the  prayers  of  the  congregation,  he  requested  that  those  who  sent  them  would  make  themselves  known, 
in  order  that  he  might  properly  attend  to  their  cases.  His  prayers  and  conversation  with  sick  persons 
were  pertinent,  affectionate,  and  useful.  And  if  they  recovered,  he  assisted  them  in  their  expressions 
of  gratitude,  reminded  them  of  their  .sickbed  thoughts  and  promises,  faithfully  exhorting  them  to 
improve  their  renewed  lives  to  the  best  pui-poses. 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


Ti 


Mr.  Heniy  was  considered  by  his  people  as  a wise  and  faithful  counsellor;  they  therefore  often  sf;nt 
tor  him,  to  consult  with  him  on  affairs  of  importance  relating  to  themselves  or  their  families,  on  which 
occasions  he  was  always  ready  to  interest  himself  in  their  concerns,  and  to  give  them  his  best  advice, 
which  he  followed  with  his  prayers  for  their  direction  and  success.  But  it  was  not  merely  on  special 
occasions  that  he  visited  his  flock;  he  maintained  habitual  intercourse  with  them,  and  promoted  christnm 
conference  among  them.  So)iie  of  the  more  considerable  and  intelligent  of  his  congregation  had  mect- 
m“-s  at  their  own  houses,  to  partake  of  a friendly  entertainment,  and  enjoy  rational  and  useful  con\  ersa- 
ti(m.  On  these  occasions,  Mr.  Henry  was  usually  of  the  party,  and  he  was  one  of  the  best  companions 
in  the  world.  His  extensive  knowledge,  his  good  sense  and  ready  wit,  his  cheerfulness  of  temper,  his 
readiness  to  communicate  what  was  entertaining  and  useful,  together  with  his  unaffected  piety  and  humi- 
lity, rendered  his  conversation  highly  agreeable;  and  these  interviews  contributed  greatly  to  promote 
knowledge,  Christian  friendship,  and  real  religion;  for  they  were  always  cl  scd  with  prayer,  and  he  had 
no  relish  for  any  visits  without  it. 

But  besides  these  friendly  meetings,  he  had  others  more  stated,  especially  appointed  for  Christian  con- 
ference and  prayer,  particularly  with  young  persons  of  his  congregation,  in  which  he  always  presided. 
The  subjects  of  "these  conferences  “ were  not  unprofitable  questions,  or  matters  of  doubtful  disputation, 
but  points  of  faith  and  cases  of  conscience;  and  care  was  taken  to  prevent  all  vain  jangling,  and  what- 
ever might  tend  to  puff  up  the  minds  of  young  people,  or  make  them  despise  [or  envy]  one  another;” 
Avhich,  as  Mr.  Tong  observes,  “ every  one  who  has  made  the  trial,  has  found  to  require  much  wisdom.” 
That  wisdom  Mr.  Henry  (as  appears  from  his  chary)  was  very  desirous  to  obtain;  and  as  his  heart  was 
much  set  upon  this  business,  so  he  was  very  prudent  and  successful  in  it. 

He  was  also  a great  example  of  ministerial  wisdom  and  fidelity  in  general.  He  carefully  -watched 
over  his  flock,  and  attended  with  diligence  to  the  respective  cases  of  individuals  in  it.  • When  he  heard 
an  ill  report  of  any,  he  would  go  to  them,  or  send  for  them,  and  inquire  impartially  into  the  truth  cl 
the  case.  If  he  found  the  persons  guilty,  he  would  deal  plainly  and  faithfully  with  them  in  his  admoni- 
tions, and  urge  a speedy  repentance,  in  which  he  was  in  most  instances  hc^pily  successful;  and  there 
were,  comparatively,  few  whom  he  was  obliged  to  cast  out  of  his  church.  Wnen  any  such  case  occun-ed, 
his  diary  shows  how  much  his  soul  was  grieved,  and  what  a discouragement  it  was  to  him  in  his  minis- 
terial labours.  But  his  sorrow  for  such  awful  instances  of  apostacy  was  abundantly  overbalanced 
by  the  joy  he  felt  on  the  success  of  the  ministry  with  the  far  greater  part  of  his  people,  whom  he  saw 
growing  up  in  wisdom  and  holiness,  adorning  the  doctrine  of  God  their  Saviour,  and  strengthening  the 
hands  of  their  pastor. 

One  uncommon  instance  of  his  zeal,  and  his  love  to  souls,  was,  the  pains  he  took  in  visiting  the  pri- 
soners and  malefactors  in  the  jail  of  Chester  castle;  which,  it  is  said,  he  was  first  led  to  do  on  the  request 
of  the  jailer’s  wife,  who  was  a pious  woman,  and  was  much  concerned  at  the  remissness  of  these  whose 
province  it  was  to  attend  these  unhappy  objects,  to  whom  she  showed  so  much  tenderness  in  other 
instances,  that  they  yielded  to  her  proposal  to  send  for  Mr.  Henry  to  instinict  and  pray  with  them.  This 
he  did  with  constancy,  and  the  most  tender  compassion,  for  the  space  cf  twenty  years.  And  sometimes 
he  preached  to  them,  especially  to  the  condemned  malefactors,  not  without  some  good  appearance  of 
success.  The  subjects  on  which  he  discoursed  were  admirably  appropriate  to  their  condition.  At  one 
time  three  women  were  under  sentence  of  condemnation  for  the  murder  cf  their  bastard  children,  when 
he  preached  on  James  i.  5.  Then  ’ivhen  lust  hath  conceived,  it  bringeth  forth  sin:  and  sin,  when  it  is 
finished,  bringeth  forth  death.  The  persons  who  attended  on  this  occasion  (as  many  were  wont  to  do) 
were  dissolved  in  tears,  and  the  poor  wretches  themselves  trembled  exceedingly.  He  repeated  his  visits 
to  them  till  the  day  of  their  execution,  and  they  thsmked  him  for  his  compassion  to  their  souls;  as  also 
many  other  prisoners  did,  who  were  acquitted  or  pardoned.  The  last  time  he  performed  this  humane 
office,  was  in  the  year  1710,  when  he  was  sent  for  by  one  who  was  condemned  to  death,  and  by  the  desire 
of  the  other  prisoners.  He  had  consented  to  go  in  the  morning,  but  the  curate  of  St.  Maiy’s,  in  order 
to  prevent  it,  sent  word  that  he  would  go  and  preach  himself,  which  he  accordingly  did.  However,  Mr. 
Henry  went  in  the  evening,  and  preached  respecting  the  thief  upon  the  cross.  Upon  which  the  governo)- 
of  the  castle  was  pi’evailed  with  to  interpose,  and  prevent  any  more  preaching  there,  except  by  the  pro- 
per chaplain;  and  thus  Mr.  Henry  was  discharged  from  the  arduous  service  which  he  had  so  long  per- 
formed, without  any  other  recompense  than  the  pleasure  of  doing  good  to  the  souls  of  these  wretched 
creatures,  who  greatly  lamented  their  loss — a loss  which  was  never  made  up,  for  no  man  in  like  manner 
ever  cared  for  their  souls. 

Another  useful  service  in  which  Mr.  Hemy  zealously  engaged  in  Chester,  (beside  many  occasional 
discourses  on  fast  davs,  and  others  relative  to  public  affairs,  in  which  he  took  great  interest,)  was,  his 
concurrence  with  the  clergy  in  forming  a society  for  the  reformation  of  manners,  similar  to  that  in  I.,rii- 
don.  This  good  work  was  promoted  by  the  bishop  and  the  dean,  who  had  the  interest  of  religion  much 
at  heart.  A monthly  lecture  on  a Friday  was  set  up  at  St.  Peter’s  church,  which  Mr.  Henry  constantly 
attended.  The  good  bishop  preached  the  first  sermon,  which  afforded  him  great  satisfaction.  Dr.  Fogg, 
the  dean,  preached  next,  on  which  Mr.  Henry  writes,  It  was  an  excellent  discourse,  much  to  the 
purpose.  I bless  God  for  this  sermon;  and  as  I have  from  my  heart  forgiven,  so  will  I endeavour  to  fn  - 
get,  all  that  the  dean  has  at  any  time  said  against  dissenters,  and  me  in  particular.  Such  preaching 
against  sin,  and  such  endeavours  to  suppi-ess  it,  will  contribute,  as  much  as  any  thing,  to  heal  differences 
among  those  that  fear  God.”  Mr.  Henry,  the  same  year,  began  a course  of  reformation  sermons  on  his 
lecture-day;  and  the  dissenting  ministers  in  Chester  settled  a reformation  lecture  in  several  parts  of  the 
country,  the  first  of  which  was  at  Macclesfield,  when  Mr.  Henry  preached  on  the  sanctification  of  the 
sabbath.  Though  the  monthly  sermons  were  carried  on  for  some  time  at  St.  Peter’s  in  Chester,  the 
good  work  had  many  enemies,  some  of  -whom  began  openly  to  deride  it,  and  form  parties  against  it.  Mr. 
Henry  Newcomb,  of  Manchester,  (though  a son  of  the  eminent  nonconformist,)  in  a sermon  which  he 
preached  at  that  church,  broke  out  into  severe  invectives  against  the  dissenters;  suggesting,  that  because 
they  did  not  conform  to  the  church,  they  hardened  the  profane,  and  disabled  themselves  to  reform  them. 
On  which  Mr.  Henry  writes,  “The  Lord  be  Judge  between  us:  perhaps  it  will  be  found  that  the  body 
of  dissenters  have  been  the  strongest  bulwark  against  profaneness  in  England.  ” The  bishop  and  dean 
much  lamented  such  obstiaictions  to  the  work  of  reformation,  but  met  with  such  discouragements  from 
the  misconduct  of  those  who  should  have  been  most  active  in  promoting  the  design,  that  at  length  it  was 


12 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 

resolved  to  adjourn  this  lecture  sine  die.  This  was  matter  of  much  grief  to  Mr.  Henry  , but  it  did  not 
discourage  him  from  proceeding  in  his  own  lecture,  or  uniting  with  his  brethren  in  adjacent  parts,  in 
prosecuting  this  great  object,  though  they  laboured  under  great  discouragement,  for  want  of  power  to 
enforce  the  laws  against  profaneness. 

But  Mr.  Henry’s  sphere  of  activity  and  attempts  for  usefulness  were  yet  more  extensive.  Though  his 
own  flock  was  never  neglected,  he  had  a care  for  all  the  churches  within  his  line,  and  readily  lent  his 
assistance  to  his  brethren  in  all  the  adjacent. parts;  sometimes  taking  a compass  of  thirty  miles,  preach- 
ing every  day  in  the  week,  but  always  returning  home  at  the  end  of  it.  The  towns  and  villages  which 
lav  near  Chtster  enjoyed  a large  share  of  his  labours,  in  several  of  which  he  had  a monthly  lecture. 
Beside  attending  stated  meetings  of  ministers  twice  a year,  he  was  frequently  called  upon  to  attend  ordi- 
nations, to  preach  funeral  sermons  for  his  deceased  brethren  and  other  respectable  persons  at  a distance: 
and  he  never  refused  complying  with  invitations  to  preach  on  any  occasicn,  when  he  was  able  to  do  it; 
the  great  strength  of  his  constitution,  and  the  vigour  of  his  mind,  rendering  these  uncommon  exertions 
easy  and  pleasant  to  him. 

He  was  used  to  take  a yearly  journey  to  Nantwich,  Newcastle,  8cc.  preaching  wherever  he  came;  and 
another  into  Lancashire,  to  preach  at’  Manchester,  Chowbent,  Warrington,  &c.  where  he  was  highly 
valued;  but  he  performed  all  within  the  week,  choosing  to  be  at  any  labour  or  expense  rather  than  not 
to  be  with  his  own  people  on  the  Lord’s  day,  from  whom  he  wa^  not  absent  on  that  day  for  ten  years 
together;  and  never  on  the  first  sabbath  in  the  month,  but  once,  for  twenty  four  years,  and  that  was 
when  he  was  in  London,  after  a long  absence  from  it:  for  though  he  had  many  connexions  in  the  metro- 
polis, he  rarely  visited  it,  as  he  had  no  apprehension  that  his  services  were  there  needed  so  much  as  in 
the  country,  where  they  had  been  eminently  useful  in  the  revival  cf  religion  all  around  him,  both  among 
ministers  and  people,  but  particularly  in  his  own  congregation,  where  he  had  the  pleasure  of  seeing  the 
Redeemer’s  interest  greatly  to  flourish,  and  many  families  rising  up  to  call  him  blessed. 

In  the  year  1700,  Mr.  Henry’s  congregation  built  a new  meeting-house  for  him,  which  was  decent, 
large,  and  commodious.  On  the  first  opening  of  it,  August  8,  he  preached  an  appropriate  and  excellent 
sermon  on  Joshua  xxii.  22,  23.  The  Lord  God  of  gods,  the  Lord  God  of  gods,  he  knows,  and  Israel  he 
shall  know,  if  it  be  in  rebellion,  or  if  it  be  in  transgression  against  the  Lord,  that  we  have  built  an  altar. 
This  sermon,  which  is  entitled,  “ Separation  without  Rebellion,”  was  not  published  by  the  author, 
though  fairly  transcribed;  most  probably  by  reason  of  his  great  solicitude  to  avoid  giving  offence  to  any 
members  of  the  established  church.  It  was  printed  in  the  year  1725,  with  a preface  written  by  Dr. 
Watts,  who  bestows  a high  encomium  upon  the  author,  but  hints  at  “some  expressions  in  the  ser- 
mon which  may  not  gain  the  entire  assent  of  some  of  his  present  readers;”  referring,  doubtless,  to  what 
relates  to  national  establishments  of  religion,  to  which  the  w'orthy  author  was  net  averse.  It  is  rather 
extraordinary  that  this  discourse  was  not  included  in  the  folio  edition  of  Mr.  Henry’s  separate  publica- 
tions, which 'was  printed  in  the  year  1726,  in  the  preface  to  which  it  is  said,  “that  this  volume 
contains  them  all.”  In  the  year  1781,  the  writer  of  this  naiTative  published  “ Select  Sermons  of  Mr. 
Henry,”  in  a large  octavo  volume,  in  which  this  valuable  discourse  was  inserted. 

After  the  building  of  this  new  meeting  house,  the  congregation  much  increased,  especially  by  the  ac- 
cession of  the  greatest  part  of  the  people  that  had  attended  Mr.  Harvky,  who,  in  the  year  .1706,  desisted 
from  preaching  in  Chester,  on  account  of  the  declining  state  of  his  health,  and  some  difficulties  about 
his  place  of  woi-ship;  so  that  Mr.  Henry’s  was  now  too  strait  for  his  hearers,  and  required  a new  gallery 
to  be  built.  It  was  rather  a singular  circumstance,  that  Mr.  Harvey’s  congregation  (according  to  the 
tradition  still  current  at  Chester)  occupied  this  new  gallery,  and  there  continued  by  themselves.  But  it 
is  presumed  that  those  of  them  who  had  been  church  members,  united  with  Mr.  Henry’s  church  in  the 
ordinance  of  the  Lord’s  supper;  for  it  appears  that  his  church  had  considerably  increased,  so  that  he  had 
at  this  time  above  three  hundred  and  fifty  communicants:  and  he  had  much  comfort  in  them,  as  there 
was  great  unanimitv  among  them,  for  which  he  expressed,  great  thankfulness  to  God. 

This  being  the  case,  it  may  appear  matter  of  suriirise  and  lamentation  that  he  should  ever  have  quitted 
Chester,  and  accepted  an  invitation  to  a congregation  in  the  vicinitv  of  London.  Of  this  great  change, 
the  cause  and  tlie  consequences  of  it,  an  account  shall  now  be  given.  He  had  received  repeated  invitations 
from  congregations  in  or  near  London,  before  that  which  separated  him  fi'cm  his  friends  at  Chester,  upon 
which  he  put  an  absolute  negative  without  hesitation.  The  first  of  these  Avas  soon  after  his  visit  to  Lon- 
don, in  the  year  1698.  In  consequence  of  his  preaching  at  several  principal  meetings  in  the  city,  for  in- 
stance, Mr.  Doolittle’s  and  Mr.  Howe’s,  he  became  better  known  than  he  had  been  before,  and  acquired 
a considerable  degree  of  fame  and  reputation  as  a preacher.  It  was  at  this  time  that  he  preached  the 
i-xcellent  discourse,  which  was  published,  on  “ Christianity  not  a Sect,  yet  every  where  spoken  against.” 

The  following  vear  a vacancy  took  place  in  the  congregation  at  Hacknky,  (where  a great  number  of 
wealthv  dissenters  resided.)  b\rthe  deo+h  of  Or.  Mrii.ii.*.!'!  P.'.tes,  a man  cf  distir.guishcd  piety,  learn- 
ing, and  abilities,  who  had  reftised  a bishopric,  and  would  have  honoured  the  first  episcopal  see  in  the 
kingdom.  The  first  person  thought  of  to  succeed  him  was  Mr.  Matthew  Henry;  and  it  was  unanimously 
agreed  to  send  him  an  invitation  to  become  their  pastor,  though  they  had  no  ground  to  sxippose  that  he 
was  at  all  dissatisfied  with  his  present  situation;  and  they  desired  Mr.  ShoAver,  an  eminent  minister  at  the 
Old  Jewry,  to  give  him  a letter,  in  order  to  apprize  him  of  their  intention.  Mr.  ShoAver  accordingly  wrote; 
but  Mr.  Henry,  bv  the  next  post,  sent  a strong  negatiA-e  to  the  application,  assigning,  as  a principal  reason. 
Ins  affection  for  the  people  at  Chester,  and  theirs  for  him;  and  he  desired  that  he  might  have  no  further 
elicitation  to  leave  them.  The  congregation  at  Hackney,  however,  not  satisfied  Avith  this  perem])tory 
uiswer,  Avrote  to  him  themselves,  and  sent  him  a most  pressing  invitation  to  accept  their  jAroposal. 
Mr.  Heniy,  after  taking  a feAv  days  to  deliberate  upon  the  matter,  Avrote  them  a very  respectml  letter, 

; .1  Avhich  he  gave  them  a decisive  negative,  which  put  an  end,  for  the  present,  to  the  negociation. 

But  after  this,  (so  lightly  have  dissenters  been  Avont  to  view  the  evil  of  being  robbers  of  churches,")  there 
was  not  a considerable  vacancy  in  anv  London  congregation,  but  Mr.  Henry  Avas  thought  of  to  fill  it. 
Upon  the  death  of  Mr.  Nathaniel  Taylor,  minister  of  Salters-hall,  the  people  there  had  their 
eye  upon  Mr.  Heniy,  but  Avere  discouraged  from  applying  to  him,  at  first,  by  the  negative  which  he  put 
upon  the  invitation  from  Hackney.  However,  after  being  disappointed  in  their  expectations  from  Mr. 
Chorley  ( f Norwich,  and  being  much  divided  about  an  application  to  another  minister,  they  unanimously 
agreed  to  make  a vigorous  effort  to  obtain  Mr.  Henry.  Accordingly,  letters  Avere  Avritten  to  him  by 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


13 


Mr.  Howe,  Mr.  (afterward  Dr.)  Williams,  and  Dr.  Hamilton,  urging  this  among  other  arguments, 
that  by  coming  to  this  place  he  would  unite  both  sides,  between  whom  there  had  been  some  contests. 
These  letters  occasioned  him  some  serious  and  uneasy  thoughts,  as  appears  frc  m his  diary,  in  which  he 
expresses  himself  willing  to  be  determined  by  the  will  of  God,  if  he  did  but  know  it,  whatever  it  might 
be.  He  afterward  takes  notice  that  a dozen  of  his  congregation  had  been  with  him  to  desire  that  he 
wdlild  not  leave  them,  to  whom  he  answered,  that  he  had  once  and  again  given  a denial  to  this  invitation, 
and  that  it  was  his  present  pui-pose  not  to  leave  them,  though  he  could  not  tell  what  might  happen  here- 
after. 

In  the  review  of  this  year,  he  takes  particular  notice  of  his  in^•itation  to  Salters-hall,  as  what  surprised 
him;  and  he  adds  as  follows:  “I  begged  of  God  to  keep  me  from  being  lifted  up  with  pride  by  it.  I 
sought  of  God  the  right  way.  Had  I consulted  my  own  fency,  which  always  had  a kindness  for  Louden 
ever  since  I knew  it,  or  the  worldly  advantage  of  my  family,  I had  closed  with  it.  And  I was  sometimes 
tempted  to  think  it  might  open  me  a door  of  greater  usefulness.  I had  also  reason  to  think  Mr.  John 
Evans  [then  at  Wrexham,  afterward  Dr.  Evans  o’f  London,  author  of  the  ‘ Christian  Temper’]  might 
have  beejj  had  here,  and  might  have  been  more  acceptable  to  some,  and  more  useful  than  I.  But  I had 
not  courage  to  break  through  the  opposition  of  the  affections  of  my  friends  here  to  me,  and  mine  to  them, 
nor  to  venture  upon  a new  and  unknown  place  and  work,  which  I feared  myself  unfit  for.  I bless  God, 
I am  well  satisfied  in  what  I did  in  that  matter.  If  it  ever  please  God  to  call  me  from  this  place,  I de- 
pend upon  him  to  make  my  way  clear.  Lord,  lead  me  in  a plain  path!”  No  candid  person,  after  read- 
ing this,  will  be  disposed  to  question  Mr.  Henry’s  integrity  in  the  future  part  of  his  conduct,  in  quitting 
Chester,  especially  considering  other  invitations  from  the  great  city. 

In  the  year  1704,  Mr.  Henry  took  another  journey  to  London,  accompanied  by  Mrs.  Henry,  to  visit 
two  of  her  sisters  then  in  town,  one  of  whom  was  dangerously  ill.  He  takes  notice  of  the  pleasure  he 
had  in  hearing  Mr.  Howe  preach,  on  the  morning  of  June  21.  In  the  afternoon  of  the  same  day  he  preach- 
ed at  Salters-hall,  where  Mr.  Tong  was  then  minister,  who  mentions  his  text,  Prov.  xvi.  16.  After 
visiting  many  friends,  and  preaching  many  sermons,  he  returned  home  with  great  satisfaction,  and 
thankhilly  recorded  some  dangers  which  he  had  escaped  in  travelling,  the  roads  being  so  bad,  that  in  one 
place  the  coach  was  set  fast;  not  apprehending  or  wishing  for  another  call  to  the  metropolis. 

He  had  hitherto  enjoyed  a great  share  of  health,  but  this  year  he  had  a very  dangerous  illness.  As  lie 
was  reading  the  scripture  on  Lord’s  day  morning,  August  27,  he  suddenly  fainted  away,  but  soon  rec(  - 
vered  so  as  to  go  on  with  his  work.  In  the  evening,  however,  feeling  himself  unwell,  he  writes,  “A  fever 
is  coming  upon  me;  let  me  be  found  ready  whenever  my  Lord  comes.”  He  had  a very  i-estless  night;  but, 
having  an  appointment  at  Nantwich  the  next  day,  he  went  and  preached  on  Psalm  cx.  3.  “And then,” 
says  he,  “ I was  well.”  The  day  following,  he  went  to  Haslington  Chapel,  to  preach  the  funeral  ser- 
mon of  Mr.  Cope,  an  aged  minister,  who  had  spent  some  years  there,  and  who  had  requested  this  of 
him.  Mr.  Egerton,  the  Rector,  gave  his  consent.  But  this,  Mr.  Henry  remarks,  was  likely  to  be  the 
last  sermon  pi-eached  there  by  adissenter;  and  it  was  like  to  have  proved  his  last;  for,  on  his  return  home, 
the  fever  came  on  with  great  violence,  and  confined  him  for  more  than  three  weeks. 

It  was  soon  after  his  recovery  from  this  severe  illness,  that  he  began  his  elaborate  work  on  the  Bible. 
A friend*  has  communicated  the  following  passage,  extracted  fi-om  his  diary,  which  Mr.  Tong  had 
overlooked,  but  which  will  appear  to  most  readers  both  curious  and  interesting.  “Nov.  12,  1704.  This 
night,  after  many  thoughts  oi  heart,  and  many  prayers  concerning  it,  I began  my  Notes  on  the  Old  Tes- 
tament. ’Tis  not  likely  I should  live  to  finish  it;  or,  if  I should,  that  it  should  be  of  [much]  public  ser- 
vice, for  I am  not  par  negotiis.  Yet,  in  the  strength  of  God,  and  I hope  with  a single  eye  to  his  glory,  I 
set  about  it,  that  I may  be  endeavouring  something,  and  spend  my  time  to  some  good  purpose;  and  let 
the  Lord  make  what  hepleaseth  of  me.  I go  about  it  with  fear  and  trembling,  lest  I exercise  myself  in 
things  too  high  for  me.  The  Lord  help  me  to  set  about  it  with  great  humility.  ” Many  passages  in  his 
diary,  written  during  the  progress  of  this  great  work,  would  be  pleasing  afid  edifying  to  the  reader,  but 
the  proposed  limits  of  these  memoirs  forbid  the  insertion  of  them. 

In  the  year  1709,  Mr.  Henry  received  a letter,  dated  Febiniaiy  18,  informing  him  that  the  congregation  in 
which  Mr.  Howe  and  Mr.  Spademan  had  been  joint  pastors,  in  Silver-street,  (both  of  them  now  deceas- 
ed,) had  chosen  him  to  succeed  the  latter,  as  co-pastor  with  Mr.  Rosewell,  and  that  some  of  them  purposed 
to  go  down  to  Chester  to  treat  with  him  on  this  business.  He  also  received  many  letters  from  ministers  and 
gentlemen,  ]3ressing  his  acceptance  of  this  call,  with  a view  to  his  more  extensive  usefulness.  Suffice  it 
to  say,  he  still  remained  immoveable,  “ his  affection  for  his  people  prevailing”  (as  he  expressed  it,  in 
his  letter  to  Mr.  Rosewell,)  “ above  his  judgment,  interest,  and  inclination.” 

After  this,  we  might  naturally  have  expected  to  find  that  Mr.  Henry  would  have  ended  his  days  at 
Chester,  and  that  no  society  would  have  attempted  to  remove  him.  But  the  congregation  at  Hackney 
being  again  vacant,  by  the  death  of  the  worthy  Mr.  Billio,  (who  died  of  the  smallpox,  in  the  year  1710,) 
they  determined  upon  renewing  their  application  to  Mr.  Henry,  which  they  did  with  increased  importunitv ; 
and  after  a long  negociation,  ;md  repeated  denials,  they  at  length  prevailed.  As  the  best  justification  of 
his  conduct  in  yielding  to  their  desires,  and  as  a further  illustration  of  his  integrity  and  piety,  as  well  as 
his  regard  to  his*  affectionate  friends  at  Chester,  the  reader  shall  have  the  account  of  the  transactic  n in 
his  own  words,  extracted  from  his  diary. 

“About  Midsummer,  1710,  I had  a letter  from  the  congregation  at  Hackney,  rignifying  that  they  had 
unanimously  chosen  me  to  be  their  minister,  and  that  I should  find  them  as  the  importunate  widow',  that 
would  have  no  nay.  I several  times  denied  them.  At  length  thev  wrote,  that  some  of  them  would  come 
down  hither;  to  prevent  which,  (not  being  unwilling  to  take  a London  journey  in  the  interval  between 
my  third  and  fourth  volume,)  I wrote  them  word  I would  come  up  to  them,  and  did  so.  Then  I laid  my- 
self open  to  the  temptation,  by  increasing  my  acquaintance  in  the  city.  They  followed  me,  after  I came  do\vn 
again,  with  letters  to  me  and  the  congregation.  In  October  I wrote  to  them,  that  if  they  would  stav  fer 
me  till  next  spring,  (which  I was  in  hopes  they  would  not  have  done,)  I would  come  up,  and  make  a 
longer  stay,  for  mutual  trial.  Thev  wrote,  they  would  wait  till  then.  \nMay,  1711,  I went  to  them,  and 
staved  till  the  end  of  July,  and,  before  I parted  with  them,  signified  my  acceptance  of  their  invitation, 
;ind  my  purpose  to  come  to  them,  God  willing,  the  next  spring.  However,  I [should  have]  denied  them. 


* The  Rev.  Thomas  Ste<]man,  of  St.  Chads,  Shrewsbury. 


14 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


but  that  Mr.  Gunston,  Mr.  Smith,  and  some  others,  came  to  me  from  London,  and  begged  me  [not  to 
refuse]  for  the  sake  of  the  public — which  was  the  thing  that  turned  the  scales.  By  this  determination  I 
have  brought  upon  myself  more  grief  and  care  than  I could  have  imagined,  and  have  many  a time  wished 
it'  undone;  but,  having  opened  my  mouth,  I could  not  go  back.  I did  with  the  utmost  impartiality  (if 
I know  any  thing  of  rnyself)  beg  of  God  to  incline  my  heart  that  way  which  would  be  most  foi^is  glory; 
and  I trust  I have  a good  conscience,  willing  to  be  found  in  the  way  of  my  duty.  Wherein  I have  done 
amiss,  the  Lord  forgive  me  for  Jesus’  sake,  and  make  this  change  concerning  the  congregation  to  work 
together  for  good  to  it!” 

Another  paper,  dated,  Hackney,  July  13, 1711,  written  after  fen^ent  prayer  to  God,  contains  the  rea- 
sons which  occurred  to  him  why  he  should  accept  his  invitation,  which  he  wrote  to  be  a satisfaction  to 
Ivim  afterward.  The  following  is  a brief  epitome  of  them:  “ 1.  I am  abundantly  satisfied  that  it  is  lawful 
for  ministers  to  remove,  and  in  many  cases  expedient.  2.  My  invitation  to  Hackney  is  net  only  unani- 
mous, but  pressing;  and,  upon  many  weeks’  trial,  I do  not  perceive  any  thing  discouraging,  but  every 
thing'that  jiromises  comfort  and  usefulness.  3.  Thei’e  seems  an  intimation  of  Providence  in  the  many 
calls  I have  had  that  way  before.  4.  There  is  manifestly  a wider  door  of  opportunity  to  do  good  opened 
to  me  at  London  than  at  Chester,  which  is  my  main  inducement.  5.  In  drawing  up  and  publishing  my 
Exposition,  it  will  be  a great  convenience  to  be  near  the  press — also  to  have  books  at  hand  to  consult,  and 
learned  men  to  converse  with,  for  my  own  improvement.  6.  I have  followed  Providence  in  this  affair, 
and  referred  myself  to  its  disposal.  7. 1 have  asked  the  advice  of  many  ministers,  and  judicious  Christians. 
8.  I have  some  reason  to  hope  that  my  poor  endeavours  may  be  more  useful  to  those  to  whom  they  are 
new.  9.  1 have  not  been  without  my  discouragements  at  Chester,  which  have  tempted  me  to  think  my 
work  there  in  a great  measure  done;  many  have  left  us,  and  few  been  [of  late]  added.  10.  I am  not  able 
to  ride  long  journies,  as  formerly,  to  preach,  which  last  winter  brought  illness  upon  me,  so  that  my  ser- 
vices would  be  confined  within  the  walls  of  Chester.  11.  The  congregation,  though  unwilling  to  part 
with  me,  have  left  the  matter  under  their  hands  to  my  own  conscience,”  &c. 

It  appears  from  Mr.  Henry’s  diary,  that  his  journey  to  London  at  the  time  here  referred  to  was  very 
uncornfortable,  by  reason  of  the  badness  of  the  roads,’but  especially  by  his  great  indisposition  and  pain, 
which  much  discouraged  him.  “I  begged,”  says  he,  “that  these  frequent  returning  illnesses  might  be 
sanctified  to  me.  I see  how  easily  God  can  break  our  measures,  and  disappoint  us,  and  make  that  tedious 
which  we  hoped  would  be  pleasant.”  However,  he  amved  safe.  May  12;  when  he  writes  thus:  “And 
now  I look  back  upon  the  week  with  thankfulness  for  the  mercies  of  God,  and  the  rebukes  I have  been 
under;  such  as  give  me  cause  to  be  jealous  of  myself,  whether  I be  in  my  way.  Lord,  show  me  where- 
fore thou  cohtendest  with  me,  and  wherefore  thou  relievest  me! — Lord’s  day,  13.  I had  but  a bad  night, 
vet  better  in  the  moniing.  Preached,  2 Pet.  i.  4.  Partake  of  a divine  nature.  Administered  the 
Lord’s  supper  to  the  congregation  at  Hackney.  Not  a hundred  communicants.*  I was  somewhat 
enlarged  m preaching,  but  at  the  Lord’s  supper  very  much  straitened,  and  not  as  I used  to  be  at 

Chester. 14.  A very  good  night,  and  perfectly  well,  blessed  be  God.  Mr.  Tong  and  Mr.  Evans  came, 

and  staid  with  me  most  of  the  day.  'We  talked  much  to  and  fro  of  my  coming  hither,  but  brought  it  to 
no  issue.  The  congregation  seems  very  unanimous.” 

During  this  visit  at  Hackney,  Mr.  Henry  preached  frequently  in  the  city,  and  several  of  his  sermons  at 
Salters-hall  were  published:  viz.  On  Faith  in  Christ — On  Forgiveness  of  Sin  as  a Debt — Hope  and  Fear 
balanced.  Manv  entertaining  articles  appear  in  his  journal  respecting  the  visits  he  made,  and  the  occur- 
rences he  met  with,  during  his  stay  at  Hackney,  which  must  be  passed  over.  On  the  whole,  he  seems  to 
be  better  reconciled  by  it  to  the  thoughts  of  rkuming.  In  one  place  he  says,  “ Blessed  be  God,  I meet 
with  a praying  people,  and  that  love  prayer. ” His  last  entry  is  July  29.  “Preached,  1 John  ii.  25.  This 
is  the  promise,  i^c.  Administered  the  Lord’s  supper.  "M^e  had  a “ very  full  congi-egation,  which  is  some 
encouragement,  at  parting,  to  think  of  coming  again.”  This  he  did  much  sooner  than  he  expected;  for 
it  appears  from  his  MS.  now.,before  me,  that,  in  the  next  January,  he  had  a subpoena  to  be  a witness  in  a 
cause  to  be  tried  in  the  Queen’s  Bench,  which  greatly  perplexed  him.  On  this  occasion  he  preached  at 
Hackney,  January  27,  and  again  on  the  30th,  being  the  lecture-day ; when  he  writes,  that  he  “ met  some  of 
the  heads  of  the  congregation,  eamestly  begging  them,  with  tears,  to  release  him  from  his  promise,”  who 
told  him  that  “they  could  not  in  conscience  do  it,  because  they  thought  his  coming  was  for  the  public 
good.”  On  Februar}'  4,  he  had  a fit  of  the  stone.  On  the  18th,’ he  set  off  very  willingly  for  Chester,  and 
arrived  in  better  health  than  when  he  set  out.  But  he  had  frequent  retums  of  that  complaint  soon 
afterward  which  however  did  not  occasion  him  to  spare  his  labours. 

The  time  now  approached  for  him  to  fulfil  his  engagement  with  the  people  at  Hackney,  but  the  thought 
of  leaving  his  friends  at  Chester  proved  a very  severe  trial  to  him,  and  pressed  down  his  spirit  beyond 
measure,  as  appears  from  many  passages  in  his  diary  wi-itten  about  this  time.  On  May  11,  1712,  when 
he  took  his  leave  of  his  flock,  he  expounded  the  last  chapter  of  Joshua  nn  the  morning,  and  of  Matthew 
in  the  afternoon,  and  preached  on  1 Thess.  iv.  17,  18.  After  this  service  he  writes,  “ A very  sad  day— I 
see  I have  been  unkind  to  the  congregation,  who  love  me  too  well. — May  12.  In  much  heaviness  I set  out 
in  the  coach  for  London,  not  knowing  the  things  that  shall  befall  me  there.  15.  Came  to  London — But 
Lord,  am  I in  my  way?  I look  back  with  sorrow  for  leaving  Chester;  I look  forward  with  fear;  but 
unto  thee,  O Lord ! do  I look  up.  ” , ^ rr<, 

Mr.  Henry  commenced  his  pastoral  work  at  Hackney  on  the  Lord’s  day.  May  18.  1 he  appearance 

of  the  meeting-house,  which  then  stood  on  the  o]i])osite  side  of  the  way  to  the  present,  where  three  houses 
now  stand,  was  not  veiy  inviting,  cither  without  or  within.  It  was  :m  old  irregular  building,  originally 
formed  out  of  dwelling’-houses;"lnit  it  was  large,  and  the  congregation  was  in  a flourishing  state,  both  in 
point  of  numbers  and  of  wealth ; ftr  it  is  said,  no  less  th'ui  thii-ty  gentlemen’s  ca.rriages  constantly  attended 
the  meeting,  and  that  the  annual  collection  for  the  Prcsl)yterian  Fund  for  poor  ministers  was  three 
hundred  pounds.  This  being  the  case,  it  seems  surpi'ising  that  in  Mr.  Henry’s  time  a better  j)lace  of 
worship  should  not  h ive  been  erected.  M’hat  Ids  salary  was  docs  not  appear,  douljtlcss  it  was  something 
considerable;  but  that  was  with  him  no  object  in  his  removal.  His  gnmd  motive  was  usefulness  to  the 
church  of  God;  and  of  this  he  had  here  a veiy  encouraging  prospect. 

♦ How  murl)  ihoy  wore  inrreasod  afterward,  does  not  appear;  bnt  it  i'<  probable  that  they  were  never  ver>'  numerous,  ns  many  dissenters, 
tviio  live  in  the  villaees  near  London,  keep  up  their  conne.vion  with  the  churches  of  which  lliey  had  been  members  when  lliey  resided  there. 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 


On  his  first  appearance  as  the  minister  in  this  congregation,  in  the  morning  he  expounded  Genesis  i. 
and  in  the  afternoon  Matthew  i.  thus  beginning  as  it  were,  the  world  anew.  He  preached  on  Acts  xvi.  9. 
Come  over  to  Macedonia,  and  help.  us.  “ O that  good,”  says  he,  “ may  be  done  to  precious  souls!  But  I 
am  sad  in  spirit,  lamenting  my  departure  from  my  friends  m Chester.  And  yet  if  they  be  well  provided 
for,  I shji^  be  easy,  whatever  discouragements  I may  meet  with  here.  ” 

Mr.  Henry  conducted  his  ministerial  work  at  Hackney  in  much  the  same  manner  as  he  had  done  at 
Chester.  He  began  the  morning  service  on  the  Lord’s  day,  (as  the  writer  has  heard  some  of  his  hearers 
relate,)  at  nine  o’clock.  Though  the  people  had  not  been  accustomed  to  so  early  an  hcur,  they  came 
into  it  without  reluctance,  and  rnany  of  them  were  well  pleased  with  it.  The  only  difference  in  the  order 
of  service  was,  that  he  began  with  a short  prayer,  which  it  is  supposed  had  been  the  custom,  as  it  is  to 
this  day.  In  labours  he  was  more  abundant  here  even  than  he  had  been  at  Chester,  excepting  that  he 
did  not  now  take  such  frequent  journeys,  so  that  he  soon  made  it  appear  that  he  did  not  remove  with  a 
view  to  his  own  ease  and  pleasure.  Though  his  bodily  stren^h  was  abated,  and  some  disorders  began  to 
gi’ow  upon  him,  his  zeal  and  activity  continued  the  same,  in  expounding,  catechising,  and  preaching, 
both  to  his  own  congregation  and  in  various  other  places.  As  he  found  here  a larger  &ld  of  service,  his 
heart  was  equally  enlarged-  He  sometimes  preached  the  Lord’s  day  morning  lecture  at  Little  St 
Helen’s,  at  seven  o’clock,  and  afterward  went  through  the  whole  of  his  work  at  Hackney;  and  frequently, 
after  both  these  services  at  home,  he  preached  the  evening  lecture  to  the  charity  school  at  Mr.  Lloyd’s 
meeting,  in  Shakspeare’s  Walk,  Wapping;  and,  at  other  times,  he  preached  in  the  evening  at  Redriff; 
after  which  he  performed  the  whole  of  his  family  worship  as  usual.  Sometimes  he  was  employed  in 
preaching  at  one  place  or  other  every  day  in  the  week,  and  even  twice  or  thrice  on  the  same  day.  He 
showed  himself  ready  to  every  good  work,  as  if  he  had  a secret  impression  that  his  time  would  be  short; 
and  the  nearer  he  came  to  the  end  of  his  coui’se,  the  swifter  was  his  progress  in  holiness  and  all  useful 
services.  Nor  did  he  appear  to  labour  in  vain,  for  he  had  many  pleasing  proofs  of  success.  He  had 
great  encouragement  soon  after  his  coming  to  Hackney,  from  the  usefulness  of  some  sermons  which  he 
preached,  on  Matth.  xvi.  26.  What  is  a man  profited,  if  c. ; many  of  his  hearers  were  greatly  affected, 
and  some  of  them  said  they  were  resolved  never  to  pursue  the  world  so  eagerly  as  they  had  before  done. 
This  was  preaching  to  good  purpose. 

So  many  were  the  calls  which  Mr.  Henry  had  to  preach  in  and  about  London,  and  so  ready  was  he  to 
comply  with  them,  that  he  sometimes  appears  in  his  diary  to  think  that  he  needed  an  apology,  and  to 
excuse  it  to  himself,  that  he  preached  so  often.  After  opening  an  evening  lecture  near  Shadwell  church, 
January  25,  1712,  when  his  text  was  Psalm  Ixxiii.  28.  he  writes  thus:  “ 1 hope,  through  grace,  I can  say, 
the  reason  why  I am  so  much  in  my  work  is,  because  the  love  of  Christ  constrains  me,  and  I find,  by 
experience,  it  is  good  for  me  to  draw  near  to  God.  ” 

Beside  catechising  on  Saturday  at  Hackney,  which  he  began  to  do  the  second  month  after  his  coming 
thither,  he  had  a catechetical  lecture  in  London,  which  he  undertook  at  the  request  of  some  serious  Chris- 
tians in  the  city,  but  not  without  the  approbation  of  several  of  his  brethren.  Such  was  his  humility,  and 
his  respect  for  the  ministers  in  London,  that  he  declined  giving  an  answer  to  the  proposal  till  he  had 
consulted  them  on  the  subject;  when  they  all  expressed  their  cordial  approbation  of  the  design,  and  several 
of  them,  of  different  denominations,  sent  their  sons  to  attend  his  instinictions,  and  often  attended  them- 
selves. The  place  fixed  upon  for  this  service,  was  Mr.  Wilcox’s  meeting-house,  in  Monkwell-street, 
where  his  tutor,  Mr.  Doolittle,  formerly  preached,  and  had  been  used  to  catechise.  The  time  was 
Tuesday  evening,  when  considerable  numbers,  besides  the  catechumens,  were  used  to  attend;  and  there 
was  great  reason  to  believe  that  Mr.  Henry’s  labours  on  these  occasions  were  verj’^  useful  to  numbers  of 
both.  It  may  not  be  amiss  here  to  introduce  an  anecdote  which  he  records  of  a robbery,  after  one  of 
his  evening  lectures,  for  the  sake  of  his  pious  reflections  upon  it.  As  he  was  coming  home,*  he  was 
stopped  by  four  men,  within  half  a mile  of  Hackney,  who  took  from  him  ten  or  eleven  shillings;  upon 
which  he  writes,  “What  reason  have  I to  be  thankful  to  God,  that  having  travelled  so  much,  I was 
never  robbed  before!  What  abundance  of  evil  this  love  of  money  is  the  root  of,  that  four  men  should 
venture  their  lives  and  souls  for  about  half  a crown  apiece!  See  the  vanity  of  worldly  wealth,  how 
soon  we  may  be  stript  of  it,  how  loose  we  ought  to  sit  to  it.” 

Mr.  Henry’s  tender  concern  for  the  best  interests  of  young  persons,  made  him  verv  desirous  that  they 
might  enjoy  all  proper  means  for  instruction  in  the  knowledge  of  divine  things.  Math  this  view,  he 
exerted  himself  to  increase  the  number  of  charity  schools,  for  the  promoting  of  which  he  drew  up  the 
following  paper:  “ It  is  humbly  proposed  that  some  endeav'^^ours  may  be  used  to  form  and  maintain  charity 
schools  among  the  dissenters,  for  the  teaching  of  poor  children  to  read  and  write,  8cc.  to  clothe  them,  and 
teach  them  the  Assembly’s  Catechism.  It  is  thought  advisable,  and  not  impracticable.  ” He  then  goes 
on  to  prove  both,  and  produces  a series  of  arguments  at  some  considerable  length,  which  it  is  unnecessary 
here  to  specify,  and  answers  some  objections  which  might  be  urged  against  his  plan. 

While  he  was  thus  laying  himself  out  for  the  good  both  of  old  and  voung,  in  and  about  I.ondon,  his  mind 
was  deeply  affected  with  the  state  of  his  congregation  at  Chester,  which  was  yet  destitute  of  a settled 
minister;  and  the  disappointment  they  had  met  with  in  their  applications  to  several  cost  him  many  prayers 
and  tears.  When  he  took  his  leave  of  his  old  friends,  he  promised  them  that  he  would  make  them  a visit 
every  year,  and  spend  some  sabbaths  with  them.  This  his  friends  at  Hackney  not  only  consented  to,  but 
recommended.  Accordingly,  July  20,  1713,  he  set  out  on  a journey  to  Chester  in  the  coach,  and  in  his  diary 
he  records  the  particulars  of  it,  with  many  pious  and  benevolent  remarks,  and  the  sermons  which  he 
preached  at  the  different  places  he  visited.  An  extract  may  be  acceptable,  as  it  discovers  his  unabated 
zeal,  and  his  unwearied  diligence,  in  doing  good  wherever  he  went;  in  comparison  with  which,  he  says. 
The  charge  and  the  trouble  of  the  journey  shall  be  as  nothing  to  me.  “July  23.  Came  to  MOaitchurch: 
a wet  day,  but  many  friends  met  me  there,  to  mv  great  reviving.  In  the  afternoon,  went  to  Broad-Oak, 
and  preached  from  Rom.  i.  11.  T lon^  to  see  you,  isfc.  Next  day  went  to  Chester,  where  mv  friends 
received  me  with  much  affection  and  respect.  Lord’s  day,  preached  from  1 Tim.  vu.  12.  Lay  hold  on 
eternal  life.  It  was  very  pleasant  for  me  to  preach  in  the  old  place,  where  I have  often  met  with  God, 
and  been  owned  by  him.  On  Wednesday  kept  a congregational  fast.  The  next  Lord’s  day  preached 

• Mr.  Tnna  says,  from  catechising  on  Tuesday;  but  from  his  own  MS.  it  appears  tliat  it  was  on  a Lord’s  day  evening,  after  niching  at 
Mr.  Rusewell's. 


1C 


ME.MOIKS  OK  THE  KE\ . MA'ITHEW  HENKY. 


uul  Mlminiitrrcd  the  Lord’s  Mippcr  to  niy  belo%'cd  Aock:  » great  congre^Wn.  Monday  went  to  Middle* 
wich;  prca(.'hcd  fn>ni  M^tth.  xxiv.  ^ InujuU^ahountU.  The  next  £iy  to  KtMUfurd,  to  a i&ertiog  o( 
iiiuiuttcrs:  preached  from  Col.  ii.  8.  Though  abtrnl  in  the  Jlnh,  yet  firrtent  m the  efitm.  Lord’s 
.luguti  y,  preached  at  Chester,  Tit.  iL  13.  I/iokwr for  the  blrmed hofte.  1 took  an  aifrctknate  (arestAk. 
of  my  friends;  pravetl  with  many  of  them;  the  next  d^y  set  out,  with  niuch  ado,  Uir  Nantwich,  j^ierc  Mr. 
.Vlotiershcd  ts  wcfl  settled:  preai’hetl  from  Joa.  L 3,  6.  J v>u»  vnth  .i/oara,  / vnJi  be  vuh^hee,  iS^c, 
From  them  e,  that  night,  went  to  Wrenlrur)  -wood,  and  preached  there  from  John  L 48;  from  thence  to 
DanI' >rd,  and  preached  at  \\'hitclmrch,  lai  1 I’ct.  v.  10;  took  lca\e  of  niy  dear  friends  there,  and  went  in 
the  coach  alone.  C.ime  to  L'sidon  the  13th,  and  found  my  tabcntaclc  in  peace.” 

'I'hc  tollowing  d.ty  t>cing  the  sal>bath,  he  preached  twice  at  Hackney,  asuaual,  and  administered  the 
l^aird's  supper.  But  it  apj>eared  that  his  late  great  cxertkau  in  preaching  and  travelling  were  too  much 
f'<r  him;  mc  tlmt  it  was  no  wonder  he  shciuld,  on  the  day  following,  have  conipLained  of  great  weariness, 
winch  Was  attended  with  drowsiness.  Sir  Kicliard  Hlackmore,  being  sent  for,  perceived  svmptoms  of  a 
diatx-les,  w Inch  obliged  Iniii  to  c:infine  himself  to  the  house.  'I'he  doctor  abscdutely  forbid  his  going  out 
the  next  I,onl’»d;iy;  upon  which  he  writes — melancholy  day:  yet  not  without  sonic communicai  with 
Cicxl.  I’erh  tps  I have  been  inordiiuitely  desirous  to  be  at  my  study  and  work  again.”  By  tlie  blessing 
of  (iod,  however,  the  uic.iiis  presc  rilK-d,  his  disorder  was  removed  in  a few  clays  after  this,  and  the 
following  s iblrath  he  went  on  in  his  ordinary  work.  ” Blessed  be  my  Clod,”  says  he,  " who  carried  me 
through  it  with  c.ise  and  plea.sure.  ” 

The  next  moiitli,  .'■Je/ilrmber  vO,  he  had  a severe  fit  of  the  stone,  and  it  happened  to  be  cm  the  Lord’s 
city:  hut  it  did  not  prevent  Ins  going  through  his  public  work.  That  cveming,  and  the  day  followinr,  he 
voided  several  stones,  and  rather  large  caies.  lie  went,  however,  on  the  Tuesday,  to  catechise  in  Lem* 
don,  and  on  W ednesday  pleached  his  weekly  lecture  at  H.icknev;cm  'I’hursday  cveninj;  a lecture  in 
Spit.illiclds,  and  on  Fric\ay  joined  in  the  service  of  a fa.st,  at  .Mr.  Fleming’s  .Meeting,  at  f oundcr’s-hall, 
where  he  iireachcd  the  sermon.  This  seemed  to  be  trying  his  strength  ocyond  the  rule  of  prudence  or 
of  duty.  However  on  the  S;itunlay  he  writes— “ 1 bless  (jod,  1 have  now  mv  health  well  again.”  But 
the  p.iinfiil  dis-mler  seveml  times  ix-tiimecL  K irly  on  laird’s  day  morning,  /December  13,  he  was  seised 
with  another  fit,  hut  the  pain  wcnit  (4f  in  about  an  hour,  and,  notwithstanding  the  fatigue  it  lusd  occa- 
sioned, he  ventured  to  London,  to  pre.ich  the  moming  Icctui-e,  Ix-f.'rc  it  w;is  light,  whem  he  tcxik  that 
text,  John  xx.  1.  The  firtt  day  of  the  week  early,  vhile  it  vhu  yet  dark,  Ue.;  and,  after  this,  he  per- 
formed the  whole  service  at  Hacxney.  Having  related  these  circumst  inccs,  he  s;iys — “ Blessed  be  LkxI 
for  help  from  on  high!”  On  the  following  Thursday  he  hadiui'  thcr  very  violent  fit  of  the  stone,  of  which 
his  own  account  is  as  follows— “'1  went  to  my  study  very  early,  but  before  seven  o’clock  1 was  seized 
with  a fit  of  the  stone,  which  held  me  :J1  day:  pained  iuid  sick,  I lay  much  cm  tlie  bed,  but  had  comfort 
in  lifting  up  my  heart  to  GikI,  lice:,  .\bout  five  o’clock  in  the  evening  1 had  case,  and  about  ten  I voided 
a large  stone.  Though  my  (Icxl  causcxl  me  gnef,  yet  he  had  compassi*m.  December  18.  Verv'  well  to 
clay,  though  ver)-  ill  yesterday.  How  is  this  life  couiiterchaiigcd!  .\nd  yet  1 am  Imt  girding  cm  my  har- 
ness; tlic  Lord  jirepcirc  me  for  the  next  fit,  and  the  Loi-d  prepare  me  for  the  last!” 

That  period  was  not  now  very  distiuit,  though  none  apprehended  it  to  he  so  near  as  it  proverd.  Though 
his  constitution  was  stnuig,  his  uncommon  exertions  must  have  tended  to  weaken  it;  and  his  close  appli- 
cation in  his  study  doubtfess  cx;casioncd  his  nephritic  c:oniplaint.  It  was  also  snkl,  by  tli<«c  who  luiew 
him  at  H.ickney,  that  after  his  settlement  there,  he  yielded  to  ilic  many  invititkns  he  had  to  sup  with 
his  friends,  wlicn  he  was  under  the  temutation,  though  not  to  any  uiitiecoming  excess,  yet  to  cal  and 
drink  wh.it  was  unrivourable  to  the  he:dtn  of  so  stuclicxis  a man,  and  one  who  liacl  Wen  used  to  a more 
abstemious  mode  of  life,  and  had  grown  coqiulent,  us  his  portrait  shows  him  to  have  been.  It  is  not 
improliahlc  tliat  this  circumstance  tended  to  shorten  his  clays, 

.\t  the  beginning  of  this  his  last  year  (for  so  it  proved  to  6c)  Mr.  Henry  ’s  mind  ;ipp<ars  from  his  diary 
to  h.ivc  been  fillecf  with  chirk  apprehensions  on  account  of  public  afTairs.  The  bill  which  had  puoed  for 
suppressing  the  schools  of  the  clissentcrs  he  Icxikcd  upon  not  only  as  a heavy  grievance  in  it.self,  but  as  a 
prelude  to  ftirther  severities.  On  this  occasion  he  preached  on  excellent  discourse  at  Mr.  Bush’s  meet- 
ing, on  2 (!hron.  xx.  12.  .Veithrr  know  we  what  to  do,  but  our  eye*  are  ufi  unto  thee. 

Tlic  following  week  he  t(»k  his  journey  to  Chester,  from  w hence  he  never  retumecL  On  May  SO, 
he  administered  the  L-  rd’s  supper,  :is  the  herst  w:iy  of  narting  with  his  friends  at  Hackney.  In  the 
moming  he  expounded  F.xcxlus  xxxviii,  in  the  aftenumn  Luke  vii,  and  preached  cm  Kcv.  v.  9.  For  thou 
wait  tlain,  t^c.  On  the  next  day  he  took  the  coach  for  Chester.  Mr.  Tong,  and  seme  other  friemds  going 
to  Coventry,  accompanied  hini  us  fir  as  St.  .\lbans,  and  there  they  p irted  with  him,  never  to  see  his 
face  any  more!  Fmm  a letter  to  Mrs.  Henry,  d ited  June  7,  it  apjicared  that  he  bore  the  journey  well, 
and  that  his  friends  told  him  he  I'xikccl  Ix-tter  th.in  he  did  when  they  saw  him  the  l;isl  year.  In  the 
xamc  letter  he  expressed  much  joy  on  account  of  his  old  congregation  la*ing  well  settled  with  a minister, 
with  whom  he  had  c nimunicatcd  at  the  Lord’s  t:ib!c  lhed,iy  preceding,  much  to  his  sitisfartion.  With 
pleasure  he  rem  irk.s — “ They  had  a full  comniuni'  n:  none  of  the  congregation  arc  gone  off:  if  none  have 
left  it  while  it  w.is  unsettled,  1 hope  none  will  leave  it  now.” 

From  a subsequent  article  in  .Mr.  Tong’s  n irmtive,  it  npi>cars  that  Mr.  flanliner  wss  not  the  sole 
minister  of  the  congreg  ition,  but  rii.it  a Mr.  VVithingti’ii  was  united  with  him.  How  long  the  church 
and  congregiition  continued  in  the  nourishing  stite  in  w hich  Mr.  Henry  now  lielield  it,  is  uiiccrtmn;  but 
it  is  well  known  that,  whatever  was  the  oiii-se,  Mr.  (lanlincr  livcil  to  sec  it  greatly  decline.  This,  how- 
ever,  wa.s  unjust  reflection  upon  him:  it  h.is  Ixen  the  common  affliction  of  the  best  of  ministers,  especially 
when  thev  have  been  advanced  in  vean.  Mr.  Henry,  however,  was  gene  to  a licttcr  world  lieforc  the 
sad  ch:injic  tixik  place,  the  knowledge  of  which  would  have  occnakmed  him  inexpressible  regret,  on  the 
recollection  of  his  lieing  at  all  accessjiry  to  it 

.\s  he  continued  to  interest  himself  in  the  welfare  of  that  society  to  the  ven  last,  so  likew  isc  he  did  in 
whatever  ccnccmcd  the  other  congregations  in  that  ncighlKnirhord,  with  which  he  had  Ijcen  so  Jong  con- 
nected; an  1 in  this  his  last  j nimey  he  visited  several  of  them,  to  the  great  injury  of  his  health:  iiKlcvd  he 
m iv  be  said  to  have  8;icrifice<l  his  life  in  their  sen  ice.  On  Tuesday.  June  8,  he  went  to  Wrexham, 
and,  having  pn-ache.l  there,  returned  to  Chester  that  night;  he  says,  “ not  at  all  tired  hut  it  seems  he 
had  some  I'nprcheiision  of  a return  of  the  dialK-tes,  and  drank  sonic  of  il»c  Bristol  water,  by  way  of  pre 
vention.  On  the  14th,  he  went  to  visit  his  brt  lher  M'arburton,  at  Grange,  and  from  thence  to  KnuU- 


17 


MEMOIRS  OF  THE  REV.  MATTHEW  HENRY. 

ford,  whither  Mr.  Gardiner  accompanied  him,  and  where  he  met  several  of  his  brethren.  From  thence 
he  rode,  on  the  Tuesday  evening,  to  Chowbent  in  Lancashire,  and  the  next  day  returned  to  Chester. 
Though  he  did  not  perceive  himself  to  be  greatly  fati^ed,  some  of  his  friends  could  not  but  fear  that  he 
must  have  injured  his  health  by  riding  so  many  miles  in  so  short  a time,  and  by  preaching  at  every  place 
where  he  (pame,  especially  in  so  hot  a summer.  Indeed  he  himself,  in  a letter  written  at  this  time  to 
Mrs.  Henry,  complains  of  the  heat  of  the  weather,  wuich,  he  says,  made  him  as  faint  and  feeble  as  he 
was  when  he  came  up  last  from  the  country  ; and,  from  a subsequent  passage,  it  seems  as  if  he  found 
himself,  after  his  late  hasty  tour,  far  from  being  well.  “ If  God  bring  me  home  in  safety,”  says  he,  “ I 
believe  it  will  do  well  to  use  the  means  I did  last  year,  unless  the  return  of  the  cool  weather  should  make 
it  needless;  for  when  I am  in  the  air  I am  best.”  He  adds,  “ Though  I am  here  among  my  old  friends, 
yet  I find  my  new  ones  lie  near  my  heart,  among  whom  God  has  now  cut  out  my  work.  ” 

In  the  last  letter  which  Mrs.  Henry  received  ft’om  him,  dated  June  19,  he  informed  her  that  he  had 
taken  the  coach  for  Wednesday,  the  23d,  and  that  he  was  to  get  into  it  at  Whitchurch,  from  whence  he 
was  pleased  to  think  he  should  have  the  company  of  Mr.  Yates  of  that  place;  and  as  the  following  Wed- 
nesday was  the  day  for  the  quarterly  fast  at  Hackney,  he  expressed  his  desire  that  due  care  might  be 
taken  to  engage  the  assistance  of  some  of  his  brethren. 

The  next  day  after  he  wrote  this  letter  was  the  s.abbath,  which  he  spent  at  Chester;  and  it  was  the 
last  he  spent  on  earth:  a remarkable  circumstance,  that  Providence  should  so  order  it  that  his  last  labours 
should  be  bestowed  where  they  were  begun,  and  where  the  most  of  his  days  had  been  spent.  It  was 
also  singular  and  pleasing  that,  on  his  two  last  sabbaths  in  the  church  below,  he  was  directed  to  a subject 
so  peculiarly  adapted  to  the  occasion,  namely,  that  of  the  eternal  sabbath  in  hea-\'en,  on  which  he  was 
so  soon  to  enter;  for  on  the  preceding  Lord’s  day,  he  had  preached  twice  on  HeB.  iv.  9.  There  remain- 
eth  a rest  for  the  fieofile  of  God;  which  he  considered,  agreeably  to  the  original,  under  the  idea  of  a 
sabbath,  which  he  illustrated  in  a variety  of  particulars.  On  the  Lord’s  day  following,  he  kept  the  same 
idea  in  view,  while  he  treated  on  that  solemn  caution,  for  the  improvement  of  the  subject— Le/  us  there- 
fore fear,  lest  a promise  being  left  us  of  entering  into  his  rest,  any  of  you  should  seem  to  come  short  of 
tt.  The  circumstances  of  Mr.  Henry’s  closing  his  ministry  in  this  remarkable  manner,  induced  Mr. 
Tong,  in  his  Life,  to  give  his  readers  the  substances  of  both  these  discourses. 

The  next  day  after  delivering  them  he  set  off,  in  his  journey  homeward,  without  feeling  any  incon 
venience  from  the  past  day’s  labours;  indeed  he  thought  he  had  found  relief  from  his  late  indisposition, 
by  his  excursion  to  Knutsford  and  Lancashire;  so  that  he  was  encouraged  (not  very  prudently)  to  make 
an  appointment  for  preaching  at  Nantwich  that  day,  in  his  way  to  London.  But  all  his  friends  observed 
that  he  appeared  very  heavy  and  dro%vsy;  though,  when  asked  how  he  did,  he  always  answered, 
“Well.”  An  apothecary,  however,  Mr.  Sudlow,  a good  friend  of  Mr.  Henry,  said,  before  he  left 
Chester,  they  should  never  see  him  again.  His  friends  therefore  should  have  dissuaded  him  from  this 
undertaking,  especially  on  horseback.  As  he  passed  Dudden  he  drank  a glass  of  the  mineral  water 
there.  Before  he  came  to  Torporley,  his  horse  stumbled  in  a hole,  and  threw  him  off.  He  was  a little 
wet,  but  said  he  was  not  hurt,  and  felt  no  inconvenience  from  the  fall.  His  companions  pressed  him  to 
alight  at  Torporley,  but  he  resolved  to  go  on  to  Nantwich,  and  there  he  preached  on  Jer.  xxxi.  18; 
but  all  his  hearers  noticed  his  want  of  his  usual  liveliness,  and,  after  dinner,  he  Avas  advised  to  lose  a 
little  blood.  He  consented  to  this,  though  he  made  no  complaint  of  indisposition.  After  bleeding  he  fell 
asleep,  and  slept  so  long,  that  some  of  his  friends  thought  it  right  to  awaken  him,  at  which  he  expressed 
himself  rather  displeased. 

His  old  intimate  friend,  Mr.  Illidge,  Avas  present,  who  had  been  desired  by  Sir  Thom.as  Delves  and 
his  lady  to  invite  him  to  their  house,  at  Doddington,  whither  their  steward  Avas  sent  to  conduct  him.  But 
he  was  not  able  to  proceed  any  further,  and  went  to  bed  at  Mr.  Mottershed’s  house,  where  he  felt  him- 
self so  ill  that  he  said  to  his  friends,  “Pray  for  me,  for  noAV  I cannot  pray  for  myself.”  While  they 
were  putting  him  to  bed,  he  spoke  of  the  excellence  of  spiritual  comforts  in  a time  of  affliction,  and 
blessed  God  that  he  enjoyed  them.  To  his  friend,  Mr.  Illidge,  he  addressed  himself  in  these  memora- 
ble words:  “You  have  been  used  to  take  notice  of  the  sayings  of  dying  men — this  is  mine:  That  a life 
:spent  in  the  service  of  God,  and  communion  with  him,  is  the  most  comfortable  and  pleasant  life  that  one 
can  live  in  the  present  Avorld.”  He  had  a restless  night,  and  about  fiA’e  o’clock  on  Tuesday  morning  he 
was  seized  Avith  a fit,  which  his  medical  attendants  agreed  to  be  an  apoplexy.  He  lay  speechless,  with 
nis  eyes  fixed,  till  about  eight  o’clock,  June  22,  and  then  expired. 

A near  relation  of  his  wrote  on  this  occasion,  “ I belieAm  it  Avas  most  agreeable  to  him  to  haA^e  so  short 
a passage  from  his  Avork  to  his  reward.  And  why  should  we  envy  him.’  It  is  glorious  to  die  in  the  service 
of  so  great  and  good  a Master,  who,  we  are  sure,  will  not  let  any  of  his  servants  lose  by  him.”  Yet  it 
cannot  but  be  regretted,  that  any  of  them  should,  by  an  inordinate  zeal,  shorten  their  days,  and,  by  this 
means,  prevent  their  more  lasting  usefulness. 

On  i'hursday,  before  the  coipse  Avas  removed  from  Nantwich,  Mr.  Reynolds,  of  Salop,  preached  an 
excellent  sermon  on  the  sad  occasion,  which  Avas  printed.  Six  ministers  accompanied  it  to  Chester,  who 
Avere  met  bv  eight  of  the  clergy,  ten  coaches,  and  a great  many  persons  on  horseback.  Many  dissenting 
ministers  folloAved  the  mourners,  and  a uniA-ersal  respect  was  paid  to  the  deceased  by  persons  of  distinc- 
tion of  all  denominations.  He  was  buried  in  T rinity  church,  in  Chester,  where  several  dear  relatives 
had  been  laid  before  him.  Mr.  Withington  delivered  a suitable  discourse,  for  the  improvement  of  the 
providence,  at  the  Thursday  lecture,  and  another  on  the  Lord’s  day  morning  after  the  funeral,  as  Mr. 
Gardiner  also  did  in  the  afternoon,  on  2 Kings  ii.  12.  Mv  father,  my  father,  b’c.  Mr.  Acton,  the  Bap- 
tist minister,  took  a respectful  notice  of  the  loss  Avhich  the  church  had  sustained  by  this  event.  When 
the  neAvs  of  his  death  reached  London,  it  occasioned  universal  lamentation:  there  was  scarcely  a pulpit 
among  the  dissenters  in  which  notice  was  not  taken  of  the  breach  made  in  the  church  of  God;  almost 
every  serm'^n  was  a funeral  sermon  for  Mr.  Henry;  and  many,  who  were  no  friends  to  the  noncon 
rrmists,  acknoAvledged  that  they  had  lost  one  Avho  was  a great  support  and  honour  to  their  interest. 
The  sermon  preached  to  his  congregation  at  Hackney,  July  11,  1714,  was  by  his  intimate  friend, 
Mr.  ^Villiam  Tong",  on  John  xiii.  36.  Whither  I go  thou  canst  not  follow  me  now;  but  thou  shalt 
fdlow  me  afterward.  This  discourse  was  published,  and  afterward  subjoined  to  the  folio  edition  of 
Mr.  Henry’s  Works. 

VoL.  I.  C 


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..:4. 


THE 


PREFACE. 


rjlHOUGH  it  is  most  my  concern,  that  I be  able  to  give  a good  account  to  God  and  my  own  con- 
science, yet,  perhaps,  it  will  be  expected,  that  I give  the  world  also  some  account  of  this  bold 
undertaking;  which  I shall  endeavour  to  do  with  all  plainness,  and  as  one  who  believes,  that  if  men 
must  be  reckoned  with  in  the  great  day,  for  every  vain  and  idle  word  they  speak,  mucl>'  more  for  every 
vain  and  idle  line  they  write. 

And  it  may  be  of  use,  in  the  first  place,  to  lay  down  those  great  and  sacred  principles  which  I go  upon, 
and  am  governed  by,  in  this  endeavour  to  explain  and  improve  these  portions  of  holy  writ;  which  en- 
deavour 1 humbly  offer  to  the  service  of  those  (and  to  those  only  I expect  it  will  be  acceptable)  who 
agree  with  me  in  these  six  principles. 

I.  That  religion  is  the  one  thing  needful;  that  to  know,  and  love,  and  fear  God  our  Maker,  and  in  all 
the  instances  both  of  devout  affection,  and  of  a good  conversation,  to  keep,  his  commandments,,  (Eccles. 
12.  13. ) is,  without  doubt,  the  whole  of  man;  it  is  all  in  all  to  him.  This  the  wisest  of  men,  after  a close 
and  copious  argument  in  his  Ecclesiastes,  lays  down  as  the  conclusion  of  his  whole  matter  (the  Quod  erat 
demonstrandum  of  his  whole  discourse);  and  therefore  I may  be  allowed  to  lay  it  down  as  a postulatum, 
and  the  foundation  of  this  whole  matter. 

It  is  necessary  to  mankind  in  general,  that  there  should  be  religion  in  the  world,  absolutely  necessary 
for  the  preservation  of  the  honour  of  the  human  nature,  and  no  less  so  for  the  preservation  of  the  order 
of  human  societies.  It  is  necessary  to  each  of  us  in  particular,  that  we  be  religious;  we  cannot  other- 
wise answer  the  end  of  our  creation,  obtain  the  favour  of  our  Creator,  make  ourselves  easy  now,  or 
happy  for  ever.  A man  that  is  endued  with  the  powers  of  reason,  by  which  he  is  capable  of  knowing, 
serving,  glorifying,  and  enjoying  his  Maker,  and  yet  lives  without  God  in  the  world,  is  certainly  the 
most  despicable  and  the  most  miserable  animal  under  the  sun. 

II.  That  divine  revelation  is  necessary  to  true  religion,  to  the  being  and  support  of  it.  That  faith 
without  which  it  is  impossible  to  please  God,  cannot  come  to  any  perfection  by  seeing  the  works  of  God, 
but  it  must  come  by  hearing  the  word  of  God,  Rom.  10.  17.  The  rational  soul,  since  it  received  that 
fatal  shock  by  the  Fall,  cannot  have  or  maintain  that  just  regard  to  the  great  Author  of  its  being^ 
that  observance  of  him,  and  expectation  from  him,  which  are  both  its  duty  and  felicity,  without  some 
supernatural  discovery  made  by  himself  of  himself,  and  of  his  mind  and  will.  Natural  light,  no  doubt, 
is  of  excellent  use,  as  far  as  it  goes;  but  it  is  necessary  that  there  be  a divine  revelation,  to  rectify  its 
mistakes,  and  make  up  its  deficiencies,  to  help  us  out  there  where  the  light  of  nature  leaves  us  quite 
at  a loss,  especially  in  the  way  and  method  of  man’s  recovery  from  his  lapsed  state,  and  his  restoration 
to  his  Maker’s  favour;  which  he  cannot  but  be  conscious  to  himself  of  the  loss  of,  finding,  by  sad  ex- 
perience, his  own  present  state  to  be  sinful  and  miserable.  Our  own  reason  shows  us  the  wound,  but 
nothing  short  of  a divine  revelation  can  discover  to  us  a remedy  to  be  confided  in. 

The  case  and  character  of  those  nations  of  the  earth  which  had  no  other  guide  in  their  devotions 
than  that  of  natural  light,  with  some  remsuns  of  the  divine  institution  of  sacrifices  received  by  tradition 


II 


THE  AUTHOR’S  PREFACE. 


from  their  fathers,  plainly  show  how  necessary  divine  revelation  is  to  the  subsistence  of  religion;  for 
those  that  had  not  the  word  of  God,  soon  lost  God  himself,  became  vain  in  their  imaginations  concerning 
him,  and  prodigiously  vile  and  absurd  in  their  worships  and  divinations.  It  is  true,  the  Jews,  who  had 
the  benefit  of  divine  revelation,  lapsed  sometimes  into  idolatry,  and  admitted  very  gross  corrup- 
tions; yet,  with  the  help  of  the  law  and  the  prophets,  they  recovered  and  reformed:  whereas  the 
best  and  most  admired  philosophy  of  the  Heathen  could  never  do  any  thing  toward  the  cure  of  the 
vulgar  idolatry,  or  so  much  as  offei’ed  to  remove  any  of  those  barbarous  and  ridiculous  rites  of  their 
religion,  which  were  the  scandal  and  reproach  of  the  human  nature.  Let  men  therefore  pretend  what 
they  will,  deists  are,  or  will  be,  atheists;  and  those  that,  under  colour  of  admiring  the  oracles  of  reason, 
set  aside  as  useless  the  oracles  of  God,  undermine  the  foundations  of  all  religion,  and  do  what  they 
can  to  cut  off  all  communication  between  man  and  his  Maker,  and  to  set  that  noble  creature  on  a level 
with  the  beasts  that  perish. 

III.  That  divine  revelation  is  not  now  to  be  found  orexfiected  any  where  but  in  the  scriptures  of  the 
Old  and  JVew  Testament;  and  there  it  is.  It  is  true,  there  were  religion  and  divine  revelation  before 
there  was  any  written  word;  but  to  argue  from  thence,  that  the  scriptures  are  not  now  necessary,  is  as 
absurd  as  it  would  be  to  argue  that  the  world  might  do  well  enough  without  the  sun,  because  in  the 
Creation  the  Avorld  had  light  three  days  before  the  sun  was  made. 

Divine  revelations,  when  first  given,  were  confirmed  by  visions,  miracles,  and  prophecy;  but  they 
were  to  be  transmitted  to  distant  regions  and  future  ages,  with  their  proofs  and  evidences,  by  writing, 
the  surest  way  of  conveyance,  by  which  the  knowledge  of  other  memorable  things  is  preserved 
and  propagated.  We  have  reason  to  think  that  even  the  Ten  Commandments,  though  spoken 
with  such  solemnity  at  Mount  Sinai,  would  have  been,  long  before  this,  lost  and  forgotten,  if  they  had 
been  handed  d nvn  by  tradition  only,  and  never  had  been  put  in  writing:  it  is  that  which  is  written,  that 
remains. 

The  scri  )tu’‘e  indeed  is  ii'  t compiled  as  a methodical  system  f r b(  dy  of  divinity,  secundum  artem — 
according  to  the  rules  of  art,  hut  in  several  ways  of  writing,  (histories,  laws,  prophecies,  songs,  epistles, 
and  even  proverbs,)  at  several  times,  and  by  several  hands,  as  Infinite  Wisdom  saw  fit.  The  end  is 
effectually  obtained;  such  things  are  plainly  supposed  and  taken  for  granted,  and  such  things  are 
expressly  revealed  and  made  known,  as,  being  all  put  together,  sufficiently  inform  us  of  all  the  truths 
and  laws  of  the  holy  religi)n  we  are  to  believe,  and  be  governed  by. 

That  all  scrip' ure  is  given  by  inspiration  of  God,  (2  Tim.  3.  16.)  and  that  holy  men  spake  and 
wrote  as  they  were  moved  by  the  Holy  Ghost,  (2  Pet.  1.  21.)  we  are  sure;  but  who  dare  pretend  to 
describe  that  inspiration?  None  knows  the  way  of  the  Spirit,  nor  how  the  thoughts  were  formed  in  the 
heart  of  him  that  was  inspired,  any  more  than  we  know  the  way  of  the  soul  into  the  body,  or  how  the 
bones  are  formed  in  the  womb  of  her  that  is  with  child,  Eccles.  11.  5.  But  we  may  be  sure  that  the 
blessed  Spirit  did  not  only  habitually  prepare  and  qualify  the  penmen  of  scripture  for  that  service,  and 
put  it  into  their  hearts  to  write,  but  did  likewise  assist  their  understandings  and  memories  in  recording 
those  things  which  they  themselves  had  the  knowledge  of,  and  effectually  secure  them  from  error  and 
mistake;  and  what  they  could  not  know  but  by  revelation,  (as  for  instance,  Gen.  1.  and  John  1.)  the 
same  blessed  Spirit  gave  them  clear  and  satisfactory  information  of.  And,  no  doubt,  as  far  as  was 
necessary  to  the  end  designed,  they  were  directed  by  the  Spirit,  even  in  the  language  and  expression; 
for  there  were  words  which  the  Holy  Ghost  taught;  (1  Cor.  2.  13.)  and  God  saith  to  the  prophet,  Tho7i 
shalt  speak  with  my  words,  Ezek.  3.  4.  However,  it  is  not  material  to  us,  who  drew  up  the  statute,  nor 
what  liberty  he  took  in  using  his  own  words:  when  it  is  ratified,  it  is  become  the  legislator’s  act,  and 
binds  the  subject  to  observe  the  true  intent  and  meaning  of  it. 

The  scripture  proves  its  divine  authority  and  original  both  to  the  wise  and  to  the  unwise;  even  to  the 
unwise  and  least-thinking  part  of  mankind,  it  is  abundantly  proved  by  the  many  incontestable  miracles 
wrought  by  Moses  and  the  prophets,  Christ  and  his  apostles,  for  the  confirmation  of  its  truths  and 
laws:  it  would  be  an  intolerable  reproach  to  eternal  Truth,  to  suppose  this  divine  seal  affixed  to  a lie. 
Beside  this,  to  the  more  wise  and  thinking,  to  the  more  considerate  and  contemplative,  it  recommends 
itself  by  those  innate  excellencies  which  are  self-ev  ident  characteristics  of  its  divine  original.  If  we 
look  wistly,  we  shall  soon  be  aware  of  God’s  image  and  sfiperscription  upon  it.  A mind  rightly  disjiosed 
by  a humble  sincere  subjection  to  its  Maker,  will  easily  discover  the  image  of  God’s  w’sdom  in  the 
iwful  depth  of  its  mysteries;  the  image  of  his  sovereignty  in  the  commanding  majesty  of  its  style;  the 


THE  AUTHOR’S  PREFACE. 


HI 


image  of  his  unity  in  the  wonderful  harmony  and  symmetry  of  all  its  parts;  the  image  of  his 
holiness  in  the  unspotted  purity  of  its  precepts;  and  the  image  of  his  goodness  in  the  manifest  ten- 
dency of  the  whole  to  the  welfare  and  happiness  of  mankind  in  both  worlds;  in  short,  it  is  a work  that 
fathers  itself. 

And  as  atheists,  so  deists,  notwithstanding  their  vain-glorious  pretensions  to  reason,  as  if  wisdom 
must  die  with  them,  run  themselves  upon  the  grossest  and  most  dishonourable  absurdities  imaginable; 
for  if  the  scriptures  be  not  the  word  of  God,  then  there  is  no  divine  revelation  now  in  the  world,  no 
discovery  at  all  of  God’s  mind  concerning  our  duty  and  happiness:  so  that  let  a man  be  ever  so  desirous 
and  solicitous  to  do  his  Maker’s  will,  he  must,  without  remedy,  perish  in  the  ignorance  of  it,  since  there 
is  no  book  but  this,  that  will  undertake  to  tell  him  what  it  is;  a consequence  which  can  by  no  means  be 
reconciled  to  the  idea  we  have  of  the  Divine  goodness.  And  (which  is  no  less  an  absurdity)  if  the 
scriptures  be  not  really  a divine  revelation,  they  are  certainly  as  great  a cheat  as  ever  was  put  upon  the 
world:  but  we  have  no  reason  to  think  them  so;  for  bad  men  would  never  write  so  good  a book,  nor 
would  Satan  have  so  little  subtlety  as  to  help  to  cast  out  Satan;  and  good  men  would  never  do  so  wicked 
a thing  as  to  counterfeit  the  broad  seal  of  Heaven,  and  to  affix  it  to  a patent  of  their  own  framing,  though 
«n  itself  ever  so  just.  No,  These  are  not  the  words  of  him  that  hath  a devil. 

IV.  That  the  scrifitures  of  the  Old  and  J\few  Testament  were  fiurfiosely  designed  for  our  learning. 
They  might  have  been  a divine  revelation  to  those  into  whose  hands  they  were  first  put,  and  yet  we, 
at  this  distance,  have  been  no  way  concerned  in  them;  but  it  is  certain  that  they  were  intended  to  be 
of  universal  and  perpetual  use  and.obligation  to  all  persons,  in  all  places,  and  all  ages,  that  have  the 
knowledge  of  them,  even  unto  us  ufion  whom  the  ends  of  the  world  are  come,  Rom.  15.  4.  Though  we 
are  not  under  the  law  as  a covenant  of  innocency,  for  then,  being  guilty,  we  should  unavoidably  perish 
under  its  curse;  yet  it  is  not  therefore  an  antiquated  statute,  but  a standing  declaration  of  the  will  of  God 
concerning  good  and  evil,  sin  and  duty,  and  its  obligation  to  obedience  is  in  as  full  force  and  virtue  as 
ever:  and  unto  us  is  the  gosfiel  of  the  ceremonial  law  preached,  as  well  as  unto  them  to  whom  it  was 
first  delivered,  and  much  more  plainly,  Heb.  4.  2.  The  histories  of  the  Old  Testament  were  writter 
for  our  admonition  and  direction,  (1  Cor.  10.  11.)  and  not  barely  for  the  information  and  entertainment 
of  the  curious.  The  prophets,  though  long  since  dead,  prophesy  again  by  their  writings,  before  peoples 
and  nations;  (Heb.  12.  5.)  and  Solomon’s  exhortation  speaketh  unto  us  as  unto  sons. 

The  subject  of  the  holy  scripture  is  universal  and  perpetual,  and  therefore  of  common  concern.  It  is 
intended,  1.  To  rerive  the  universal  and  perpetual  law  of  nature,  the  very  remains  of  which  (or  ruins 
rather)  in  natural  conscience,  give  us  hints  that  we  must  look  somewhere  else  for  a fairer  copy.  2.  To 
reveal  the  universal  and  perpetual  law  of  grace,  which  God’s  common  beneficence  to  the  children 
of  men,  such  as  puts  them  into  a better  state  than  that  of  devils,  gives  us  some  ground  to  expect.  The 
divine  authority  likewise,  which  in  this  book  commands  our  belief  and  obedience,  is  universal  and  per- 
petual, and  knows  no  limits,  either  of  time  or  place;  it  follows,  therefore,  that  every  nation  and  every 
age,  to  which  these  sacred  writings  are  transmitted,  are  bound  to  receive  them  with  the  same  veneration 
and  pious  regard  that  they  commanded  at  their  first  entrance. 

Though  God  hath,  in  these  last  days,  spoken  to  tts  by  his  Son,  yet  we  are  not  therefore  to  think  that 
what  he  spake  at  sundry  times  and  in  divers  manners  to  the  fathers,  (Heb.  1.  1.)  is  of  no  use  to  us,  or 
that  the  Old  Testament  is  an  almanack  out  of  date;  no,  we  are  built  upon  the  foundation  of  the  pro- 
phets, as  well  as  of  the  apostles,  Christ  himself  being  the  Corner-stone,  (Eph.  2.  20. ) in  whom  both  these 
sides  of  this  blessed  building  meet  and  are  united:  they  were  those  ancient  records  of  the  Jewish 
church,  which  Christ  and  his  apostles  so  oft  referred  to,  so  oft  appealed  to,  and  commanded  us  to  search 
and  to  take  heed  to.  The  preachers  of  the  gospel,  like  Jehoshaphat’s  judges,  wherever  they  went,  had 
this  book  of  the  law  with  them,  and  found  it  a great  advantage  to  them  to  speak  to  them  that  knew 
the  law,  Rom.  7.  1.  That  celebrated  translation  of  the  Old  Testament  in  the  Greek  tongue  by  the 
Seventy,  between  two  and  three  hundred  years  before  the  birth  of  Christ,  was  to  the  nations  a happy 
preparative  for  the  entertainment  of  the  gospel,  by  spreading  the  knowledge  of  the  law:  for  as  the  New 
Testament  expounds  and  completes  the  Old,  and  thereby  makes  it  more  serriceable  to  us  now  than  it 
was  to  the  Jewish  church;  so  the  Old  Testament  confirms  and  illustrates  the  New,  and  shows  us  Jesus 
Christ,  the  same  yesterday  that  he  is  to-day,  and  will  be  for  ever. 

W That  the  holy  scriptures  were  not  only  designed  for  our  learning,  but  are  the  settled  standing  rule 
.f  our  faith  and  practice,  by  which  we  must  be  governed  now  and  judged  shortly:  it  is  not  only  a book 


IV 


THE  AUTHOR’S  PREFACE. 


of  general  use,  (so  the  writings  of  good  and  wise  men  may  be,)  but  it  is  of  sovereign  and  commanding 
authority;  the  statute-book  of  God’s  kingdom,  which  our  oath  of  allegiance  to  him,  as  our  supreme 
Lord,  binds  us  to  the  observance  of.  Whether  nve  ’will  hear,  or  "whether  nve  ’will  forbear,  Ave  must  be 
told,  that  this  is  the  oracle  we  are  to  consult,  and  to  be  determined  by;  the  touchstone  we  are  to 
appeal  to,  and  try  doctrines  by;  the  rule  we  are  to  have  an  eye  to,  by  which  we  must  in  every  thing 
order  our  affections  and  conversations,  and  from  which  we  must  always  take  our  measures.  This  is  the 
testimony,  this  is  the  Iww  which  is  bound  up  and  sealed  among  the  disciples,  that  word,  according  to 
which  if  we  do  not  sfieak,  it  is  because  there  is  no  light  in  us,  Isa.  8.  16,  20. 

The  making  of  the  light  •within,  our  rule,  which  by  nature  is  darkness,  and  by  grace  is  but  a copy  of, 
and  confonnable  to,  the  written  word,  is  setting  the  judge  above  the  law;  and  making  the  traditions 
of  the  church  rivals  with  the  scripture,  is  no  better:  it  is  making  the  clock,  which  every  one  concerned 
puts  backward  or  forward  at  pleasure,  to  correct  the  sun,  that  faithful  measurer  of  time  and  days. 
These  are  absurdities,  which,  being  once  granted,  thousands  follow,  as  we  see  by  sad  experience. 

VI.  That  therefore  it  is  the  duty  of  all  Christians  diligently  to  search  the  scrifitures,  and  it  is  the  office 
of  ministers  to  guide  and  assist  them  therein.  How  useful  soever  this  book  of  books  is  in  itself,  it  will  be 
of  no  use  to  us,  if  we  do  not  acquaint  ourselves  with  it,  by  reading  it  daily,  and  meditating  up)on  it,  that 
we  may  understand  the  mind  of  God  in  it,  and  may  apply  what  we  understand  to  ourselves  for  our 
direction,  rebuke,  and  comfort,  as  there  is  occasion.  It  is  the  character  of  the  holy  and  happy  man,  that 
his  delight  is  in  the  la’w  of  the  Lord;  and,  as  an  evidence  thereof,  he  converses  with  it  as  his  constant 
companion,  and  advises  with  it  as  his  most  wise  and  trasty  counsellor,  for  in  that  la’w  doth  he  meditate 
day  and  night,  Ps.  1.  2. 

It  concerns  us  to  be  ready  in  the  scriptures,  and  to  make  ourselves  so  by  constant  reading  and  careful 
observation,  and  especially  by  earnest  prayer  to  God,  for  the  promised  gift  of  the  Holy  Ghost,  whose 
office  it  is  to  bring  things  to  our  remembrance  which  Christ  hath  said  to  us;  (John  14.  26.)  that  thus  we 
Hiay  have  some  good  word  or  other  at  hand  for  our  use  in  our  addresses  to  God,  and  in  our  converse  with 
men;  in  our  resistance  of  Satan,  and  in  communing  with  our  own  hearts;  and  maybe  able,  Avith  the  good 
Householder,  to  bring  out  of  this  treasury  things  ne’w  and  old,  for  the  entertainment  and  edification  both 
of  ourselves  and  others.  If  any  thing  will  make  a man  of  God  perfect  in  this  world,  will  complete  both 
.1  Christian  and  a minister,  and  thoroughly  furnish  him  for  every  good  "work,  it  must  be  this.  2 Tim.  3.  17. 

It  concerns  us  also  to  be  mighty  in  the  scriptures,  as  Apollos  was,  (Acts  18.  24.)  that  is,  to  be 
thoroughly  acquainted  with  the  true  intent  and  meaning  of  them,  that  we  may  understand  Avhat  we  read, 
and  may  not  misinterpret  or  misapply  it,  but  by  the  conduct  of  the  blessed  Spirit  may  be  led  into  all 
truth,  (John  16.  13.)  and  may  hold  it  fast  in  faith  and  love,  and  put  every  part  of  scripture  to  that  use 
for  Avhich  it  was  intended.  The  letter,  either  of  law  or  gospel,  profits  little  without  the  Spirit, 

The  ministers  of  Christ  are  herein  ministers  to  the  Spirit  for  the  good  of  the  church;  their  business  is 
to  open  and  apply  the  scriptures;  thence  they  may  fetch  their  knowledge,  thence  thei;;  doctrines,  de- 
votions, directions,  and  admonitions,  and  thence  their  very  language  and  expression.  Expounding  the 
scriptures  Avas  the  most  usual  way  of  preaching  in  the  first  and  purest  ages  of  the  church.  What  have 
the  Levites  to  do  but  to  teach  Jacob  the  laAv;  (Deut.  33.  10.)  not  only  to  read  it,  but  to  give  the  sense,  and 
cause  them  to  understand  the  reading?  Neh.  8.  8.  Ho’w  shall  they  do  this,  except  some  man  guide  them? 
.\cts  8.  31.  As  ministers  Avould  hardly  be  believed  without  Bibles  to  back  them,  so  Bibles  would  hardly 
be  understood  without  ministers  to  explain  them;  but  if,  having  both,  we  perish  in  ignorance  and 
iinbelief,  our  blood  will  be  upon  our  own  head. 

Being  fully  persuaded  therefore  of  these  things,  I conclude,  that  whatever  help  is  offered  to  good 
Christians  in  searching  the  scriptures,  is  real  service  done  to  the  glory  of  God,  and  to  the  interests  of  his 
Kingdom  among  men;  and  that  is  it  which  hath  draAvn  me  into  this  undertaking,  which  I have  gone 
about  in  weakness,  and  in  fear,  and  much  trembling,  lest  I should  be  found  exercising  myself  in  things 
'00  high  for  me,  (1  Cor.  2.  3.)  and  so  laudable  an  undertaking  should  suffer  damage  by  an  unskilful 
management. 

If  any  desire  to  know  how  so  mean  and  obscure  a persofi  as  I am,  Avho  in  learning,  judgment,  felicity 
of  expression,  and  all  advantages  for  such  a sendee,  am  less  than  the  least  of  all  my  Master’s  serA^ants, 
:ame  to  venture  upon  so  great  a work,  I can  give  no  other  account  of  it  than  this:  It  has  long  been  my 


THE  AUTHOR’S  PREFACE. 


V 


i;raclice,  what  little  time  I had  to  spare  in  my  study,  from  my  constant  preparations  for  the  pulpit,  to 
spend  it  in  drawing  up  expositions  upon  some  parts  of  the  New  Testament,  not  so  much  for  my  own  use, 
as  purely  for  my  own  entertainment,  because  I knew  not  how  to  employ  my  thoughts  and  time  more  to 
my  satisfaction.  Trahit  sua  quemque  volufitas — Every  man  that  studies,  hath  some  beloved  study, 
which  is  his  delight  above  any  other;  and  this  is  mine.  It  is  that  learning  which  it  was  my  happiness 
from  a cliild  to  be  trained  up  in,  by  my  ever  honoured  father,  whose  memory  must  always  be  very  dear 
and  precious  to  me:  he  often  reminded  me  that  a good  textuary  is  a good  divine;  and  that  I should  read 
other  books  with  this  in  my  eye,  that  I might  be  the  better  able  to  understand  and  apply  the  scripture. 

While  I was  thus  employing  myself,  came  out  Mr.  Burkitt's  Exposition,  of  the  Gosfiels  first,  and 
afterward  of  the  jicts  and  the  Epistles,  which  met  with  very  good  acceptance  among  serious  people,  and 
no  doubt,  by  £he  blessing  of  God  will  continue  to  do  great  service  to  the  church.  Soon  after  he  had 
finished  that  work,  it  pleased  God  to  call  him  to  his  rest;  upon  which  I was  urged,  by  some  of  my 
friends,  and  was  myself  inclined,  to  attempt  the  like  upon  the  Old  Testament,  in  the  strength  of  the 
grace  of  Christ.  This  upon  the  Pentateuch  is  humbly  offered  as  a specimen:  if  it  find  favour,  and 
be  found  any  way  useful,  it  is  my  present  purpose,  in  dependence  upon  Divine  aids,  to  go  on,  so  long  as 
God  shall  continue  my  life  and  health,  and  as  my  other  work  will  permit. 

Many  helps,  I know,  we  have  of  this  kind  in  our  own  language,  which  we  have  a great  deal  of  reason 
to  value,  and  to  be  very  thankful  to  God  for:  but  the  scripture  is  a subject  that  can  never  be  exhausted. 
Semper  habet  aliquid  relegentibus — However  frequently  we  read  it,  we  shall  always  meet  with  something 
new.  WTven  David  had  amassed  a vast  treasure  for  the  building  of  the  temple,  yet  saith  he  to  Solomon, 
Thou  mayest  add  thereto,  1 Chron.  22.  14.  Such  a treasure  is  scripture-knowledge;  it  is  still  capable 
vf  increase,  till  we  all  come  to  the  perfect  man. 

The  scripture  is  a field  or  vineyard  which  finds  work  for  variety  of  hands,  and  about  which  may  be 
employed  a great  diversity  of  gifts  and  operations,  but  all  from  the  same  Spirit,  (1  Cor.  12.  4,  6.) 
and  for  the  glory  of  the  same  Lord.  The  learned  in  the  languages  and  in  ancient  usages  have  been  very 
serviceable  to  the  church,  (the  blessed  occupant  of  this  field,)  by  their  curious  and  elaborate  searches 
into  its  various  products,  their  anatomies  of  its  plants,  and  the  entertaining  lectures  they  have  read 
upon  them.  The  philosophy  of  the  critics  hath  been  of  much  more  advantage  to  religion,  and  lent 
more  light  to  sacred  truth,  than  the  philosophy  of  the  school-divines.  The  learned  also  in  the  arts 
of  war  have  done  great  service  in  defending  this  garden  of  the  Lord  against  the  violent  attacks  of  the 
powers  of  darkness,  successfully  pleading  the  cause  of  the  sacred  writings  against  the  spiteful  cavils 
of  atheists,  deists,  and  the  profane  scoffers  of  these  later  days.  Such  as  these  stand  in  the  posts  of  ho- 
nour, and  their  praise  is  in  all  the  churches;  yet  the  labours  of  the  vine-dressers  and  the  husbandmen, 
(2  Kings  25.  12.)  though  they  are  the  poor  of  the  land  who  till  this  ground,  and  gather  in  the  fruits  of  it, 
are  no  less  necessary  in  their  place,  and  beneficial  to  the  household  of  God,  that  out  of  these  pre- 
cious fruits  every  one  may  have  his  portion  of  meat  in  due  season.  These  are  the  labours  which, 
according  to  my  ability,  I have  here  set  my  hand  unto.  And  as  the  plain  and  practical  expositors  would 
not,  for  a world,  say  of  the  learned  critics.  There  is  no  need  of  them;  so,  it  is  hoped,  those  eyes  and 
heads  will  not  say  to  the  hands  and  feet,  There  is  no  need  of  you;  1 Cor.  12.  21. 

The  learned  have  of  late  received  very  great  advantage  in  their  searches  into  this  part  of  holy  writ, 
and  the  books  that  follow,  (and  still  hope  for  more,)  by  the  excellent  and  most  valuable  labours  of  that 
great  and  good  man,  bishop  Patrick,  whom,  for  vast  reading,  solid  judgment,  and  a most  happy  appli- 
cation to  these  best  of  studies,  even  in  his  advanced  years  and  honours,  succeeding  ages,  no  doubt,  will 
’^nk  among  the  first  three  of  commentators,  and  bless  God  for  him. 

Mr.  Pool's  English  Annotations  (which,  having  had  so  many  impressions,  we  may  suppose,  got  into 
most  hands)  are  of  admirable  use,  especially  for  the  explaining  of  scripture-phrases,  opening  the  sense, 
referring  to  parallel  scriptures,  and  the  clearing  of  difficulties  that  occur:  I have  therefore  all  along 
been  brief  upon  that  which  is  there  most  largely  discussed,  and  have  industriously  declined,  as  much  as 
I could,  what  is  to  be  found  there;  for  I would  not  actum  agere — do  what  is  done;  nor  (if  I may  be 
allowed  to  borrow  the  apostle’s  words)  boast  of  things  made  ready  to  our  hand,  2 Cor.  10.  16. 

Those  and  other  annotations  which  are  referred  to  the  particular  words  and  clauses  they  are  designed 
to  explain,  arc  more  easy  to  be  consulted  upon  occasion;  but  the  exposition  which  (like  thisl  is  put  into 
a continued  discourse,  digested  under  proper  heads,  is  much  more  easy  and  ready  to  be  read  through  for 
one’s  own  or  ethers’  ioftruction.  And,  I think,  the  observing  of  the  connexion  of  each  chapter  (if  there 


THE  AUTHOR’S  PREFACE. 


oe  occasion)  with  that  which  goes  before,  and  the  general  scope  of  it,  with  the  thread  of  the  history  oi 
discourse,  and  the  collecting  of  the  several  parts  of  it,  to  be  seen  at  one  view,  will  contribute  very'  much 
to  the  understanding  of  it,  and  will  give  the  mind  abundant  satisfaction  in  the  general  intention,  though 
there  may  be  here  and  there  a difficult  word  or  expression  which  the  best  critics  cannot  easily  account  for. 
This,  therefore,  I have  here  endeavoured. 

But  we  are  concerned  not  only  to  understand  what  we  read,  but  to  improve  it  to  some  good  purpose, 
and,  in  order  thereunto,  to  be  affected  with  it,  and  to  receive  the  impressions  of  it.  The  word  of  God  is 
designed  to  be  not  only  a light  to  our  eyes,  the  entertaining  subject  of  our  contemplation,  but  a light  to 
our  feet  and  a lamfi  to  our  paths,  (Ps.  119.  106.)  to  direct  us  in  the  way  of  our  duty,  and  to  prevent  our 
turning  aside  into  any  by-way:  we  must  therefore,  in  searching  the  scriptures,  inquire,  not  only 
What  is  this?  but.  What  is  this  to  us?  'What  use  may  we  make  of  it?  How  may  we  accommodate  it  to 
some  of  the  purposes  of  that  divine  and  heavenly  life  which,  by  the  grace  of  God,  we  are  resolved  to 
live?  Inquiries  of  this  kind  I have  here  aimed  to  answer. 

When  the  stone  is  rolled  from  the  well’s  mouth  by  a critical  explication  of  the  text,  still  there  are 
those  who  would  both  drink  themselves,  and  water  their  flocks;  but  they  complain  that  the  nvell  is  deep, 
and  they  have  nothing  to  draw;  how  then  shall  they  come  by  this  living  water?  Some  such  may,  per- 
haps, find  a bucket  here,  or  water  drawn  to  their  hands;  and  pleased  enough  shall  I be  with  this  office 
of  the  Gibeonites,  to  draw  water  for  the  congregation  of  the  Lord  out  of  these  wells  of  salvation. 

That  which  I aim  at  in  the  exposition,  is,  to  give  what  I thought  the  genuine  sense,  and  to  make  it  as 
plain  as  I could  to  ordinary  capacities,  not  troubling  my  reader  with  the  different  sentiments  of  exposi- 
tors: which  would  have  been  to  transcribe  Mr.  Pool's  Latin  Synopsis,  where  this  is  done  abundantly  to 
our  satisfaction  and  advantage. 

As  to  the  practical  observations,  I have  not  obliged  myself  to  raise,  doctrines  out  of  every  verse  or 
paragraph,  but  only  have  endeavoured  to  mix  with  the  exposition  such  hints  or  remarks  as  I thought  im- 
provable for  doctrine,  for  reproof,  for  correction,  and  for  instruction  in  righteousness,  aiming  in  all  to 
promote  practical  godliness,  and  carefully  avoiding  matters  of  doubtful  disputation  and  strifes  of  words. 
It  is  only  the  prevalency  of  the  power  of  religion  in  the  hearts  and  lives  of  Christians,  that  will  redress 
our  grievances,  and  turn  our  wilderness  into  a fruitful  field. 

And  since  our  Lord  Jesus  Christ  is  the  true  Treasure  hid  in  the  field  of  the  Old  Testament,  and  was  the 
Lamb  slain  from  the  foundation  of  the  world,  I have  been  careful  to  observe  what  Moses  wrote  of  him, 
to  which  he  himself  oft  appealed.  In  the  writings  of  the  prophets  we  meet  with  more  of  the  plain  and 
express  promises  of  the  Messiah,  and  the  grace  of  the  gospel;  but  here,  in  the  books  of  Moses,  we  find 
more  of  the  types,  both  real  and  personal,  figures  of  Him  that  was  to  come;  shadows,  of  which  the 
substance  is  Christ,  Rom.  5.  14.  Those  to  whom  to  live  is  Christ,  will  find  in  these  that  which  is  very 
instructive  and  affecting,  and  will  give  great  assistance  to  their  faith,  and  love,  and  holy  joy.  This,  in  a 
particular  manner,  we  search  the  scriptures  for— to  find  what  they  testify  of  Christ  and  eternal  life: 
John  5.  39. 

Nor  is  it  any  objection  against  the  application  of  the  ceremonial  institutions  of  Christ  and  his  grace, 
that  they  to  whom  they  were  given,  could  not  discern  this  sense,  or  use  of  them ; but  it  is  rather  a reason 
why  we  should  be  very  thankful  that  the  vail  which  was  upon  their  minds  in  the  reading  of  the  Old 
Testament,  is  done  away  in  Christ,  2 Cor.  3.  13,  14,  18.  Though  they  then  could  not  steadfastly  look 
to  the  end  cf  that  which  is  abolished,  it  does  not  therefore  follow  but  that  tve  v.'ho  arc  happily  furnished 
with  a key  to  these  mysteries,  may  in  them,  as  in  a glass,  behold  the  glory  of  the  Lord  Jesus.  And 
yet,  perhaps,  the  pious  Jews  saw  more  of  the  gospel  in  their  ritual,  than  we  think  they  did;  they  had 
at  least  a general  expectation  of  good  things  to  come,  by  faith  in  the  promises  made  to  the  fathers,  as  we 
have  of  the  happiness  of  heaven,  though  they  could  not  of  that  world  to  come,  any  more  than  we  can 
of  this,  form  any  distinct  or  certain  idea.  Our  conceptions  of  the  future  state,  perhaps,  are  as  dark  and 
confused,  as  short  of  the  truth,  and  as  wide  from  it,  as  theirs  then  were  of  the  kingdom  of  the  Messiah: 
but  God  requires  faith,  only  according  to  the  revelation  he  gives.  They  then  were  accountable  for  no 
more  light  than  they  had;  and  we  now  are  accountable  for  that  greater  light  which  we  have  in  the 
gospel,  by  the  help  ot  which  we  may  find  much  more  of  Christ  in  the  Old  Testament  than  they  could. 

If  any  think  our  observations  sometimes  take  rise  from  that  which  to  them  seems  too  minute,  let  them 
remember  that  maxim  of  the  Rabbins,  JVon  est  in  lege  vel  una  litera  a qua  non  pendent  magni  montes — 
The  law  contains  not  a letter  but  what  bears  the-weight  of  mountains  We  are  sure  there  is  not  an  idle 
word  in  the  Bible. 


THE  AUTHOR’S  PREFACE. 


vu 


I would  desire  the  reader  not  only  to  reaa  the  text  entire,  before  he  reads  the  exposition,  but,  as  the 
several  verses  are  referred  to  in  the  exposition,  to  cast  his  eye  upon  them  again,  and  then  he  will  the 
better  understand  what  he  reads.  And  if  he  have  leisxire,  he  will  find  it  of  use  to  him  to  turn  to  the 
scriptures,  which  are  sometimes  only  referred  to  for  brevity’s  sake,  comparing  spiritual  things  with 
spiritual. 

It  is  the  declared  purpose  of  the  Eternal  mind,  in  all  the  operations  both  of  providence  and  grace,  to 
and  to  make  it  honourable;  (Isa.  42.  21.)  nay,  to  magnify  his  nvold  above  all  his  name; 
(Ps.  138.  2.)  so  that  when  we  pray.  Father,  glorify  thy  name,  we  mean  this,  among  other  things. 
Father,  magnify  the  holy  scriptures;  and  to  that  prayer,  made  in  faith,  we  may  be  sure  of  that  answer 
which  was  given  to  our  blessed  Saviour  when  he  prayed  it,  with  particular  respect  to  the  fulfilling  the 
scriptures  in  his  own  sufferings,  I have  both  glorified  it,  and  I •will  glorify  it  yet  again,  John  12.  28.  To 
this  great  design  I humbly  desire  to  be  some  way  serviceable,  in  the  strength  of  that  grace  by  which  I 
am  what  I am,  hoping  that  what  may  help  to  make  the  reading  of  the  scriptures  more  easy,  pleasant, 
and  profitable,  will  be  graciously  accepted  by  Him  that  smiled  on  the  widow’s  two  mites  cast  into  the 
treasury,  as  an  intention  to  magnify  it,  and  make  it  honourable;  and  if  I,  can  but  gain  that  point,  in  any 
measure,  with  some,  I shall  think  my  endeavours  abundantly  recompensed,  however,  by  others,  I and 
my  performances  may  be  vilified  and  made  contemptible. 

I have  now  nothing  more  to  add,  than  to  recommend  myself  to  the  prayers  of  my  friends,  and  them 
to  the  grace  of  the  Lord  Jesus;  and  so  rest  an  unworthy  dependent  upon  that  grace,  and,  through  that, 
an  expectant  of  the  glory  to  be  revealed. 


M.  H. 


Chester,  October  2,  1706. 


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V 


AN 

EXPOSITION, 


WITH 

PRACTICAL,  OBSERVATIONS, 


ON  THE 


PBNTATEUOH 


FIVE  BOOKS  OF  MOSES, 

NAMELY, 


GENESIS, 

EXODUS, 

LEVITICUS, 


NUMBERS, 

AND 

DEUTERONOMY. 


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."'• '(if.*/.*! 


AN' 


EXPOSITION, 

WITH 


PRACTICAI.  OBSERVATIONS, 


OF  THE  FIRST  BOO\’  OF  MOSES,  CALLED 


GENESIS, 


I.  We  have  now  before  us  the  Holy  Bible,  or  Book,  for  so  Bible  signifies.  We  call  it  the  Book,  by  way  ol 

eminency;  for  it  is  incon^arably  the  best  book  that  ever  was  written,  the  Book  of  books,  shining  like  the 
sun,  in  the  firmament  of  leaniing;  other  valuable  and  useful  books,  like  the  moon  and  stars,  borrowing 
their  light  from  it.  We  call  it  the  Holy  Book;  because  it  was  written  by  holy  men,  and  indited  bv  the 
Holy  Ghost;  it  is  perfectly  pure  from  all  falsehood  and  cornipt  intention;’and  the  manifest  tendency  of 
It  is  to  promote  holiness  among  men.  The  gi’eat  things  of  God’s  Law  and  Gospel  are  here  written  to 
us,  that  they  might  be  reduced  to  a greater  certainty,  might  spread  further,  remain  longer,  and  be 
transmitted  to  distant  places  and  ages,  more  pui’e  and  entire  than  possibly  they  could  be  by  report  and 
tradition:  and  we  shall  have  a great  deal  to  ansAver  for,  if  these  things  w/nch  belong  to  our  peace,  being 
thus  committed  to  us  in  black  and  white,  be  neglected  by  us  as  a strange  and  foreign  thing,  Hos.  viii.  12 
The  Scriptures,  or  Writings  of  the  several  inspired  penmen,  from  Moses  down  to  St.  John,  in  Avhicl 
divine  light,  like  that  of  the  moniing,  shone  gradually,  (the  sacred  Canon  being  now  completed,)  art 
all  put  together  in  this  blessed  Bible,  which,  thanks  be  to  God,  we  have  in  our  hands,  and  they  mase  as 
perfect  a day  as  we  are  to  expect  on  this  side  heaven.  Every  part  was^ootf,  but  altogether  vc7~y  good 
This  is  the  light  that  shmes  in  a dark  place,  2 Peter  i.  19,  and  a dark  place  indeed  the  world  would  be” 
without  the  Bible.  ’ 

II.  We  have  before  us  that  paiT  of  the  Bible  which  we  call  the  Old  Testament,  containing  the  acts  and 

monuments  of  the  church,  from  the  creation  almost  to  the  coming  of  Christ  in  the  flesh,  which  was  about 
four  thousand  years,  the  truths  then  revealed,  the  laws  then  enacted,  the  devotions  then  paid,  the  pro- 
phecies then  given,  and  the  events  Avhich  concerned  that  distinguished  body,  so  far  as  God  saw  ht  to 
preserve  to  us  the  knowledge  cf  them.  This  is  called  a Testament,  or  Covenant,  because 

It  was  a settled  declaration  of  the  will  of  God  concerning  man  in  a Federal  way,  and  had  its  force  from 
tlie  designed  death  of  the  great  Testator,  the  Lamb  slain  from  the  foundation  of  the  world.  Rev.  xiii.  8. 
It  is  called  the  Old  Testament,  witli  relation  to  tlie  A^cw,  Avhich  does  not  cancel  and  supersede  it,  but 
croAvn  and  perfect  it,  by  the  bringing  in  of  that  better  liope  Avhich  was  typified  and  foretold  in  it:  the  Old 
Testament  still  remains  glorious,  though  the  A'‘ew  far  exceeds  in  glory,  2 Cor.  iii.  9. 

HI.  We  have  before  us  that  part  of  the  Old  Testament,  which  we  call  the  Pentateuch,  or  five  Books  of 
Moses,  that  servant  of  the  Lord  who  excelled  all  the  other  prophets,  and  typified  the  Great  Prophet. 
In  our  Saviour’s  distnbution  of  the  liooks  of  the  Old  Testament  into  the  Loot,  the  Prophets,  and  the 
Psalms,  or  Hagiographa,  these  are  the  Law,  for  thev  contain  not  onlv  the  laws  given  to  Israel,  in  the 
four  last,  but  the  laws  given  to  Adam,  to  Noah,  and  to  Abraham,  in  the  first.  These  five  books  were, 
for  ought  we  know,  the  first  that  e\  er  were  written;  for  we  have  net  the  least  mention  of  anv  writing 
in  all  the  book  of  Genesis,  nor  till  Cxod  bid  Moses  write,  Exod.  xvii.  14. ; and  some  think  Moses  himself 
never  learned  to  Avrite,  till  God  set  him  his  copy  in  the  Avriting  of  the  Ten  Commandments  upon  the 
tables  of  stone.  HoAvever,  Ave  are  sure  these  boots  are  the  most  ancient  Avritings  noAv  extant,  and  there- 
fore best  able  to  give  us  a satisfactoiy  account  of  the  most  ancient  things. 

I\.  We  have  before  us  the  first  and  longest  of  those  five  books,  Avhich  we  call  Genesis;  written,  some 
think,  Avhen  Moses  was  in  Midian,  for  the  instniction  and  comfort  of  his  suffering  brethren  in  EgAmt. 

I rather  think  he  wrote  it  in  the  AvildeiTiess,  after  he  had  been  in  the  Mount  Avith  God,  where,  probably, 
he  received  full  and  particular  instructions  for  the  writing  of  it.  And  as  he  framed  the  tabernacle,  so  he 
did  the  more  excellent  and  durable  fabric  of  this  book,  exactly  according  to  the  pattern  shoAved  him  in 
the  mount;  into  which  it, is  better  to  resolve  the  certainty  of  the  things  herein  contained,  than  into  any 
tradition  Avhich  possibly  might  be  handed  doAvn  from  Adam  to  Methuselah,  from  him  to  Shem,  from  him 
to  Abraham,  and  so  to  the  family  of  Jacob.  Genesis  is  a name  boiTOAved  from  the  Greek.  It  signifies 
the  original,  or  generation:  fitly  is  this  book  so  cidled,  for  it  \s  a.  history  of  originals — the  creation  of  the 
world,  the  entrance  of  sin  and  death  into  it,  the  invention  of  arts,  ^le  rise  of  nations,  and  especially  the 
plantingof  thechurch,  and  the  state  of  it  in  its  early  days.  Itis  a\?,oahistory  of  generations — the  genera- 
tions of  Adam,  Noah,  Abi'aham,  &c.  not  endless,  but  useful  genealogies.  1 ne  beginning  of  the  New 
Testament  is  called  Genesis  too,  Matt.  i.  1.  yivGtte:.  The  Book  of  the  Genesis,,or  Generation,  oi 
Jesus  Christ.  Blessed  be  God  for  that  Book  AA'hich  shows  us  our  remedy,  as  this  opens  our  wound, 
Loi’d,  open  our  eyes,  that  Ave  may  see  the  Avendrous  things  both  of  thy  LaAv  and  Gospel' 


22 


GEiNESlS,  1. 


CHAP.  1. 

The  foundation  of  all  religion  being  laid  in  our  relation  to 
God  as  our  Creator,  it  was  fit  that  that  book  of  divine 
revelations,  which  was  intended  to  be  the  guide,  support, 
and  rule,  of  religion  in  thp  world,  should  begin,  as  it  does, 
with  a plain  and  full  account  of  the  creation  of  the 
ivorld — in  answer  to  that  first  inquiry  of  a good  con- 
science, Where  is  Gnd  my  Maker?  ioh  10.  Concern- 
ing this,  the  pagan  philosophers  wretchedly  blundered, 
and  became  vaiii  in  their  imaginations;  some  asserting 
the  world’s  eternity  and  self-existence,  others  ascrib- 
ing it  to  a fortuitous  concourse  of  atoms : thus  the 
world  by  wisdom  knew  not  God,  but  took  a great  deal  of 
pains  to  lose  him.  The  holy  scripture,  therefore,  design- 
ing by  revealed  religion  to  maintain  and  improve  natural 
religion,  to  repair  the  decays  of  it,  and  supply  the  de- 
fects of  it,  since  the  fall,  for  the  reviving  of.  the  precepts 
of  the  law  of  nature  ; lays  down,  at  first,  this  principle 
of  the  unclouded  light  of  nature.  That  this  world  was, 

' in  the  beginning  of  time,  created  by  a Being  of  infinite 
wisdom  and  power,  who  was  himself  before  all  time, 
and  all  worlds.  T/ie  entrance  into  God’s  word  gives 
this  tight,  Ps.  119.  130.  The  first  verse  of  the  Bible 
gives  us  a surer  and  better,  a more  satisfying  and  useful 
knowledge  of  the  origin  of  the  universe,  than  all  the  vo- 
lumes of  the  philosophers.  The  lively  faith  of  humble 
Christians  understands  this  matter  better  than  the  ele- 
vated fancy  of  the  greatest  wits,  Heb.  11.  3. 

IVe  have  three  things  in  this  chapter  , 1.  A general  idea 
given  us  of  the  work  of  creation,  v.  1,  2.  II.  A par- 
ticular account  of  the  several  days’  work,  registered,  as 
in  a journal,  distinctly  and  in  order.  The  creation  of 
the  light,  the  first  day,  v.  3 . . 6 ; of  the  firmament,  the 
second  day,  v.  6 . . 8 ; of  the  sea,  the  earth,  and  its  fruits, 
the  third  day,  v.  9..  13;  of  the  lights  of  heaven,  the 
fourth  day,  v.  14 . , 19  ; of  the  fish  and  fowl,  the  fifth  day, 
V.  20 . . 33  ; of  the  beasts,  v.  24,  25  ; of  man,  v.  26 . . 28  ; 
and  of  food  for  both,  the  sixth  day,  v.  29,  30.  III.  The 
review  and  approbation  of  the  whole  work,  v.  31. 

iN  the  beginning  God  created  the  hea- 
ven and  the  earth.  2.  And  the  earth 
u as  without  form,  and  void ; and  darkness 
teas  upon  the  face  of  the  deep.  And  the 
Spirit  of  God  moved  upon  the  face  of  the 
waters. 

In  this  verse  we  have  the  work  of  creation  in  its 
ffiitome,  and  in  its  embryo. 

I.  In  its  epitome,  v.  1.  where  we  find,  to  our  com- 
fort, the  first  article  of  our  creed,  that  God  the  Fa- 
ther Almighty  is  the  Maker  of  heaven  and  earth, 
and  as  sucit  we  beliex'e  in  him.  Observe,  in  this 
verse,  four  things. 

1.  The  effect  produced; 

that  is,  the  world,  including  the  whole  frame  and 
furniture  of  the  universe,  the  world  and  all  things 
therein.  Acts  17.  24.  The  world  is  a great  house, 
consisting  of  upper  and  lower  stories,  the  stnu'-ture 
stately  and  magnificent,  uniform  and  convenient, 
and  every  room  well  and  wisely  furnished.  It  is 
the  visible  part  of  the  creation  that  Moses  here 
designs  to  account  for;  therefore,  he  mentions  not 
the  creation  of  angels:  l)ut  as  the  earth  has  not  only 
its  surface  adorned  with  grass  and  flowers,  ljut  also 
Its  bowels  enriched  with  metals  and  precious  stones, 
which  partake  more  of  its  solid  nature  and  are 
more  valuable,  though  the  creation  of  them  is  not 
mentioned  here;  so  the  heavens  are  not  only  beau- 
tified to  our  eye  with  glorious  lamps  which  garnish 
its  outside,  of  whose  creation  w'e  here  read,  but 
they  are  within  rejflenished  with  glorious  beings, 
out  of  our  sight,  more  celestial,  and  more  sur])ass- 
ing  them  in  worth  and  excellency,  th:in  the  gold 
or  sapphires  do  the  lilies  of  the  field.  In  the  visi- 
ble world  it  is  easy  to  observe,  (1.)  Great  varieti/; 
several  sorts  of  beings  vastly  differing  in  theii'  na- 
ture and  constitution  from  each  other.  Lord,  how 
7tianifold  are  thy  works,  and  all  good!  (2.)  Great 
beauty;  the  azure  sky  and  verdant  earth  are 


charming  to  the  eye  of  the  curious  spectator,  muc  h 
more  the  ornaments  of  both,  riow  transcendent 
then  must  the  beauty  of  the  Creator  be!  (3.) 
Great  exactness  and  accuracy;  to  tiiosc  that,  with 
the  help  of  micro  scopes,  narrowly  look  into  the 
works  of  nature,  they  appeal’  far  more  fine  th,.n  aiu 
of  the  works  of  ai’t.  (4. ) Great  power;  it  is  not  .i 
lump  of  dead  and  inactive  matter,  but  theie  is  \ ir- 
tue  more  or  less,  in  every  creature;  the'em’th  itself 
has  a magnetic  power.  (5.)  Great  order;  a mutual 
dependence  of  being,  an  exact  harmony  of  motions, 
and  an  admirable  chain  and  connexion  of  causes. 
(6.)  Great  mystery;  there  arc  phenomena  in  na- 
ture, which  cannot  be  solved,  secrets  which  cannot 
be  fathomed  or  accounted  for.  But  from  w hat  we 
see  of  heaven  and  earth,  we  may  easily  enough  in  - 
fer the  eternal  power  and  Godhead  of  the  great 
Creator,  and  may  furnish  ourselves  with  abundant 
matter  for  his  praises.  And  let  our  make  and 
place,  as  men,  remind  us  of  our  duty  as  Christians, 
which  is,  always  to  keep  heaven  in  our  eye,  and  the 
earth  under  our  feet. 

2.  The  Author  and  Cause  of  this  great  work, 
GOD;  the  Hebrew  word  is  Rlohim,  which  be 
speaks,  (1.)  The  power  of  God  the  Creator.  El 
signifies  the  strong  God;  and  what  less  than  an 
almighty  strength  could  bring  all  things  out  of  no- 
thing.^ (2.)  The  plurality  of  persons  in  the  God- 
head, Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost.  This  plural 
name  of  God,  in  Hebrew,  which  speaks  of  him  as 
m-any,  though  he  is  one,  was  to  the  gentiles  perhap.s 
a savour  of  death  unto  death,  hardening  them  in 
their  idolatry;  but  it  is  to  us  a savour  of  life  unto 
life,  confirming  our  faith  in  the  doctrine  of  the 
Trinity,  which,  though  but  darkly  intimated  in  the 
Old  Testament,  is  clearly  revealed  in  the  New. 
The  Son  of  God,  the  eternal  Word  and  Wisdom 
of  the  Father,  was  with  him,  when  he  made  the 
world,  Prov.  8.  30.  nay,  we  are  often  told  that  the 
world  was  made  by  him,  and  nothing  made  without 
him,  John  1.  3,  10.  Eph.  3.  9.  Col.  1.  16.  Heb.  1. 
2.  O what  high  thoughts  should  this  form,  in  our 
minds,  of  that  great  God  whom  we  draw  nigh  to  in 
religious  worship,  and  that  great  Mediator  in  whose 
name  we  draw  nigh ! 

3.  The  manner  in  which  this  work  was  effected; 
God  created,  that  is,  made  it  out  of  nothing;  there 
was  not  any  pre-existent  matter  out  of  which  the 
world  was  produced.  The  fish  and  fowl  were  in- 
deed produced  out  of  the  waters,  and  the  beasts 
and  man  out  of  the  earth;  but  that  earth  and  those 
waters  were  made  out  of  nothing.  By  the  ordinary 
power  of  nature,  it  is  impossiWe  that  something 
should  be  made  out  of  nothing;  no  artificer  can 
work,  unless  he  has  something  to  work  on.  But  by 
the  almighty  power  of  God,  it  is  not  only  possible 
that  something  should  be  made  of  nothing,  (the 
God  of  nature  is  not  subject  to  the  laws  of  nature,) 
but  in  the  creation,  it  is  impossible  it  should  be 
otherwise,  for  nothing  is  more  injurious  to  tlie  ho- 
nour of  the  Eternal  Mind  than  the  supposition  of 
eteiTial  matter.  Thus  the  excellency  of  the  power 
is  of  God,  and  all  the  glory  is  to  him. 

4.  When  this  work  was  produced;  In  the  begin- 
jting,  that  is,  in  the  beginning  of  time,  when  that 
clock  was  first  set  a going:  time  began  with  the 
I)roduction  of  those  beings  that  are  measured  by 
time.  Before  the  beginning  of  time  there  was  none 
but  that  Infinite  Being  that  inhabits  eternity.  Shovild 
we  ask  why  God  made  the  world  no  sooner,  we 
should  but  darken  counsel  by  tvords  without  know- 
ledge; for  how  could  there  be  sooner  or  later  in  eter 
nity.^  And  he  did  make  it  in  the  beginning  of  time, 
according  to  his  eternal  counsels  before  all  time. 
The  Jewish  Rabbins  have  a saying,  that  there  were 
seven  things  which  God  created  before  the  world,  by 
which  they  only  mean  to  express  the  excellency  of 


GENESIS,  1. 


these  things — The  Law;  Repentance;  Paradise; 
Hell;  the  throne  of  Glory;  the  House  of  the  Sanc- 
tuary; and  the  Name  cf  the  Messiah.  But  to  us  it 
)3  enough  to  say,  In  the  beginning  was  the  JVord, 
John  1.  1. 

Let  us  learn  hence,  (1.)  That  atheism  is  folly, 
and  atheists  are  the  greatest  fools  in  nature;  for  they 
see  there  is  a world  that  could  nftt  make  itself,  and 
yet  they  will  not  own  there  is  a God  that  made  it. 
Uoubtless,  they  are  without  excuse,  but  the  god  of 
this  world  has  blinded  their  minds.  (2.)  That 
God  is  sovereign  Lord  of  all,  by  an  incontestible 
right.  If  he  be  the  Creator,  no  doubt,  he  is  the 
O wner  and  Possessor,  of  heaven  and  earth.  (3.) 
'I'hat  with  God  all  things  are  possible,  and  therefore 
happy  are  the  people  that  have  him  for  their  God, 
and  whose  help  and  hope  stand  in  his  name,  Ps.  121. 
2. — 124.  8.  (4. ) That  the  God  we  serve,  is  worthy 

of,  and  yet  is  exalted  far  above,  ^dl  blessing  and 
praise,  Neh.  9.  5,  6.  If  he  made  the  world,  he 
needs  not  our  services,  nor  can  be  benefited  by  them, 
Acts  17.  24,  25,  and  yet  he  justly  requires  them, 
and  deserves  our  praise.  Rev.  4.  11.  If  all  is  of 
him,  all  must  be  to  him. 

II.  Here  is  the  work  of  creation  in  its  embryo, 
(x>.  2. ) where  we  have  an  account  of  its  first  matter, 
and  the  first  Mover. 

1.  A chaos  was  the  first  matter;  it  is  here  called 
tlie  earth,  (though  the  earth,  properly -taken,  was 
not  made  tdl  the  third  day,  v.  10. ) because  it  did 
most  resemble  that  which  afterward  was  called 
earth,  mere  earth,  destitute  of  its  ornaments,  such 
a heavy  unwieldy  mass  was  it;  it  is  also  called  the 
deefi,  both  for  its  vastness,  and  because  the  waters 
which  were  afterward  separated  from  the  earth, 
were  now  myced  with  it.  This  immense  mass  of 
matter  was  it,  out  of  which  all  bodies,  even  the  fir- 
mament and  visible  heavens  themselves,  were  af- 
terward pi’oduced  by  the  power  of  the  Eternal 
Word.  The  Creator  could  have  made  his  work 
perfect  at  first,  but  by  this  gradual  proceeding  he 
would  show  what  is,  ordinarily,  the  method  of  his 
providence  and  grace.  Observe  the  description  of 
this  chaos.  (1.)  There  was  nothing  in  it  desirable 
to  be  seen,  for  it  was  without  form,  and  void.  Tohu 
and  Bohu,  confusion  and  emptiness;  so  these  words 
are  rendered,  Isa.  34.  11.  It  was  shapeless,  it  was 
useless,  it  was  without  inhabitants,  without  orna- 
ments, the  shadow  or  rough  draught  of  things  to 
come,  and  not  the  irnage  of  the  things,  Heb.  10.  1. 
The  earth  is  almost  reduced  to  the  same  condition 
again  by  the  sin  of  man,  under  which  the  creation 
groans;  See  Jer.  4.  23;  I beheld  the  earth,  and,  lo,  it 
was  without  form,  and  void.  To  those  who  have 
their  hearts  in  heaven,  this  lower  world,  in  compa- 
rison with  that  upper,  still  appears  to  be  nothing 
but  confusion  and  emptiness.  There  is  no  tT*ue 
beauty  to  be  seen,  no  satisfying  fulness  to  be  enjoy- 
ed, in  this  earth,  but  in  God  only.  (2. ) If  there  had 
been  any  thing  desirable  to  be  seen,  yet  there  was 
no  light  to  see  it  by;  for  darkness,  thick  darkness, 
was  upon  the  face  of  the  deep.  God  did  not  create 
this  darkness,  (as  he  is  said  to  create  the  darkness 
of  affliction,  Isa.  45.  7,)  for  it  was  only  the  want  of 
light,  which  yet  could  not  be  said  to  be  wanted,  till 
something  was  made,  that  might  be  seen  by  it;  nor 
needs  the  want  of  it  be  much  complained  of,  when 
there  was  nothing  to  be  seen  but  confusion  and 
emptiness.  If  the  work  of  grace  in  the  soul  is  a new 
creation,  this  chaos  represents  the  state  of  an  unre- 
generate graceless  soul : there  is  disorder,  confusion, 
and  every  evil  work;  it  is  empty  of  all  good,  for  it  is 
without  God;  it  is  dark,  it  is  darkness  itself;  this  is 
our  condition  by  nature,  till  almighty  gi-ace  effects 
a blessed  change. 

2.  The  Spirit  of  God  was  the  first  ]\Iover;  he 
mox'cd  upon  the  face  of  the  waters.  When  we  con- 


sider the  earth  without  form,  and  void,  methinks, 
it  is  like  the  valley  full  of  dead  and  dry  bones.  Can 
these  live  ? Can  this  confused  mass  of  matter  be 
formed  into  a beautiful  world?  Yes,  if  a spirit  of  life 
from  God  enter  into  it,  Ezek.  37.  9.  Now  there  is 
hope  concerning  this  thing;  for  if  the  Spirit  of  God 
begins  to  work,  and  if  he  work,  who  or  what  shall 
hinder?  God  is  said  to  make  the  world  by  his 
Spirit,  Ps.  33.  6,  Job.  26.  13,  and  by  the  same 
Mighty  Worker  the  new  creation  is  effected.  He 
mo^■ed  upon  the  face  of  the  deep,  as  Elijah  stretch- 
ed himself  upon  the  dead  child;  as  the  hen  gathers 
her  chickens  under  her  wings,  and  hovers  over  them, 
to  warm  and  cherish  them.  Matt.  23,  37,  as  the ' 
eagle  stirs  up  her  nest,  and  flutters  over  her  young, 
(it  is  the  same  word  that  is  here  used,)  .Deut.  32, 

1 1.  Learn  hence.  That  God  is  not  only  the  Author 
of  all  being,  but  the  Fountain  of  life,  and  Spring  c f 
motion.  Dead  matter  would  be  for  ever  dead,  if  he 
did  not  quicken  it.  And  this  makes  it  credible  to 
us,  that  God  should  raise  the  dead.  That  powei 
which  brought  such  a world  as  this,  out  of  confu- 
sion, emptiness,  and  darkness,  at  the  beginning  of 
time,  can,  at  the  end  of  time,  bring  our  vile  bodies 
out  of  the  grave,  though  it  be  a land  of  darkness  as 
darkness  itself,  and  without  any  order.  Job.  10.  22, 
and  can  make  them  glorious  bodies. 

3.  And  God  said,  Let  there  be  light : and 
there  was  light.  4,  And  God  saw  the  light 
that  it  teas  good : and  God  divided  the  light 
from  the  darkness.  5.  And  God  called  the 
light  Day,  and  the  darkness  he  called  Night 
And  the  evening  and  the  morning  were  the 
first  day. 

We  have  here  a further  account  of  the  frst  day’s 
work.  In  which  observe, 

I.  That  the  first  of  all  visible  beings  which  God 
created,  evas  light;  not  that  by  it  he  himself  might 
see  to  work,  (for  the  darkness  and  light  are  both 
alike  to  him,)  but  that  by  it  we  might  see  his 
works,  and  his  glory  in  them,  and  might  work  our 
works  while  it  is  day.  The  works  of  Satan  and  his 
servants  are  works  of  darkness;  but  he  that  doeth 
tivith,  and  doeth  good,  cometh  to  the  light,  and 
coveteth  it,  that  his  deeds  may^  be  made  manifest, 
John  3.  21.  Light  is  the  great  beauty  and  blessing 
of  the  universe;  like  the  first -bom,  it  does,  of  all  vi- 
sible beings,  most  resemble  its  great  Parent  in  pu- 
rity and  power,  brightness  and  beneficence;  it  is  of 
great  affinity  with  a spirit,  and  is  next  to  it;  though 
by  it  we  see  other  things,  and  are  sure  that  it  is, 
yet  we  know  not  its  nature,  nor  can  describe  what 
it  is,  or  by  what  way  the  light  is  parted.  Job  38.  19. 
24.  By  the  sight  of  it  let  us  be  led  to,  and  assisted 
in,  the  believing  contemplation  of  Him  who  is  Light, 
infinite  and  eternal  Light,  1 John  1.  5,  andtheAoK^er 
of  Lights,  James  1.  17,  and  who  dwells  in  inaccessi 
ble  light,  1 Tim.  6.  16.  In  the  new  creation,  the 
first  thing  wrought  in  the  soul,  is  light:  the  blessed 
Spirit  captivates  the  will  and  affections  by  en- 
lightening the  understanding,  so  coming  into  the 
heart  by  the  door,  like  the  good  shepherd  Avhose 
own  it  is,  while  sin  and  Satan,  like  thieves  and  rob- 
bers, climb  up  some  other  way.  They  that  by  sin 
w'ere  darkness,  by  grace  become  light  in  the  Lord. 

II.  That  the  light  was  made  by  the  word  of  God's 
power;  he  said.  Let  there  be  Jfight;  he  willed  and 
appointed  it,  and  it  was  done  immediately;  there 
was  light,  such  a copy  as  exactly  answered  the  ori- 
ginal idea  in  the  Eternal  Mind.  'O  the  power  of  the 
word  of  God!  He  spake,  and  it  was  done;  done 
really,  effectually,  and  for  perpetuity,  not  in  show 
only,  and  to  serve  a present  turn,  for  he  command- 
ed, and  it  stood  fast:  with  him  it  was  dictum,  fac 


2'4 


GENESIS,  J. 


turn — a nvord,  and  a world.  The  word  of  God, 
that  is,  his  will  and  the  good  pleasure  of  it,  is  quick 
and  powerful.  Christ  is  the  Word,  the  essential 
eternal  Word,  and  by  him  the  light  was  produced, 
for  in  him  was  li^fit,  and  he  is  the  true  Light,  the 
Light  of  the  world,  1 John  9. — 9.  5.  The  divine  light 
which  shines  in  sanctified  souls  is  wrought  by  the 
power  of  God,  the  power  of  his  word,  and  of  the  Spi- 
rit of  wisdom  and  revelation,  opening  the  understand- 
ing, scattering  the  mists  of  ignorance  and  mistake, 
and  giving  the  knowledge  of  the  glory  of  God  in  the 
face  of  Christ,  as,  at  first,  God  commanded  the 
light  to  shine  out  of  darkness,  2 Cor.  4.  6.  Dark- 
ness had  been  perpetually  upon  the  face  of  fallen 
man,  if  the  Son  of  God  had  not  come,  and  given  us 
an  understanding,  1 John  5.  20. 

III.  That  the  light  which  God  willed,  when  it 
was  produced,  he  approved  of;  God  saw  the  light 
that  it  was  good.  It  was  exactly  as  he  designed  it, 
and  it  was  fit  to  answer  the  end  for  which  he  design- 
ed it.  It  was  useful  and  profitable;  the  world,  which 
now  is  a palace,  would  have  been  a dungeon  with- 
out it.  It  was  amiable  and  pleasant;  truly  light  is 
snveet,  Eccles.  11.  7,  itrejoiceth  the  heart,  Prov.  15. 
30.  What  God  commands  he  will  approve  and 
graciously  accept  of,  and  be  well  pleased  with  the 
work  of  his  own  hands.  That  is  good  indeed,  which 
is  so  in  the  sight  of  God,  for  he  sees  not  as  man 
sees.  If  the  light  be  good,  how  good  is  he  that  is 
the  Fountain  of  light,  from  which  we  receive  it, 
and  to  whom  we  owe  all  praise  for  it,  and  all  the 
services  we  do  by  it ! 

IV.  That  God  divided  the  light  from  the  dark- 
ness, so  put  them  asunder,  as  that  they  could  never 
be  joined  together  or  reconciled;  for  what  fellow- 
ehifi  has  light  with  darkness?  2 Cor.  6.  14.  And 
'et  he  divided  time  between  them,  the  day  for 
ight,  and  the  night  for  darkness,  in  a constant  and 
regular  succession  to  each  other.  Though  the 
darkness  was  now  scattered  by  the  light,  yet  it  was 
not  condemned  to  a perpetual  banishment,  but 
takes  its  turn  with  the  light,  and  has  its  place, 
because  it  has  its  use;  for  as  the  light  of  the  morn- 
ing befriends  the  business  of  the  day,  so  the  sha- 
dows of  the  evening  befriend  the  repose  of  the  night, 
and  draw  the  curtains  about  us,  that  we  may  sleep 
the  better;  See  Job  7.  2.  God  has  thus  divided  time 
between  light  and  daiicness,  because  he  would  daily 
remind  us  that  this  is  a world  of  mixtures  and 
changes.  In  heaven  there  is  perfect  and  perpetual 
light,  and  no  darkness  at  all;  in  hell,  utter  dark- 
ness, and  no  gleam  of  light.  In  that  world,  between 
these  two  there  is  a great  gulf  fixed;  but  in  this 
world,  they  are  counterchanged,  and  we  pass  daily 
from  one  to  another;  that  we  may  learn  to  e:^ect 
the  like  vicissitudes  in  the  providence  of  God, 
peace  and  trouble,  joy  and  sorrow,  and  may  set  the 
one  over  against  the  other,  and  accommodate  our- 
selves to  both,  as  we  do  to  the  light  and  darkness, 
bidding  both  welcome,  and  making  the  best  of  both. 

V.  That  God  divided  them  from  each  other  by 
distinguishing  names;  he  called  the  light  Day,  and 
the  darkness  he  called  .Yight.  He  gave  them  names, 
as  Lord  of  both;  for  the  day  is  his,  the  night  also  is 
his,  Ps.  74.  16.  He  is  the  Lord  of  time,  and  will  be 
so,  till  dav  and  night  shall  come  to  an  end,  and  the 
stream  of  time  be  swallowed  up  in  the  ocean  of 
eternity.  Let  us  acknowledge  God  in  the  constant 
succession  of  day  and  night,  and  consecrate  both. to 
his  honour,  liy  working  for  him  every  day,  and  rest- 
ing in  him  every  night,  and  meditating  in  his  law 
day  and  night. 

VI.  That  this  was  the  first  day’s  work,  and  a 
good  day’s  work  it  was;  the  evening  and  the  morn- 
ing were  the  frst  day.  The  darkness  of  the  eve- 
ning was  liefore  the  light  of  the  morning,  that  it 
might  serve  for  a foil  to  it,  to  set  it  off,  and  make  it 


shine  the  brighter.  This  was  not  only  the  first  day 
of  the  world,  but  the  first  day  of  the  week.  I ob- 
serve it,  to  the  honour  of  that  day,  because  the  new 
world  began  on  the  first  day  of  the  week  likewise,  in 
the  resurrection  of  Christ,  as  the  Light  cf  the 
world,  early  in  the  morning.  In  him,  the  duv- 
spring  from  on  high  has  lisited  the  world;  and 
happy  are  we,  for  ever  hajipy,  if  that  Day-star 
arise  in  our  hearts. 

6.  And  God  said,  Let  there  be  a firma- 
ment in  the  midst  of  the  waters,  and  let  it 
divide  the  waters  from  the  waters.  7.  And 
God  made  the  firmament,  and  divided  the 
I waters  which  were  under  the  firmament, 

! from  the  waters  which  rcere  above  the 
firmament : and  it  \\  as  so.  8.  And  God 
called  the  firmament  Heaven.  And  the 
evening  and  the  morning  were  the  second 
day. 

We.  have  here  an  account  of  the  second  day’s 
work,  the  creation  cf  the  firmament:  in  which  ob- 
serve, 

I.  The  command  of  God  concerning  it;  Let  there 
be  a firmament,  and  expansion,  so  the  Hebrew 
word  signifies,  like  a sheet  spread,  or  a curtain 
drawn  out.  This  includes  all  that  is  visible  above 
the  earth,  between  it,  and  the  third  heaven ; the  air, 
its  higher,  middle,  and  lower  regions;  the  celestial 
globe,  and  all  the  spheres  and  orbs  cf  light  above- 
it  reaches  as  high  as  the  place  where  the  stars  are 
fixed,  for  that  is  called  here  the  firmament  of  Hea- 
ven, V.  14,  15,  and  as  low  as  the  plac«e  where  the 
birds  fly,  for  that  also  is  called  the  firmament  of 
Heaven,  v.  20.  When  God  had  made  the  light,  he 
appointed  the.  air  to  be  the  receptacle  and  vehicle 
of  its  beams,  and  to  be  as  a medium  of  ccrmmmica- 
tion  between  the  invisible  and  the  visible  world;  for 
though  between  heaven  and  earth  there  is  an  incon- 
ceivable distance,  yet  there  is  not  an  impassable 
gulf,  as  there  is  between  heaven  and  hell.  This 
firmament  is  not  a wall  of  partition,  but  a way  of 
intercourse.  See  Job  26.  7. — 37.  18.  Ps.  104.  3. 
Amos  9.  6. 

II.  The  creation  of  it.  Lest  it  should  seem  as  if 
God  had  only  commanded  it  to  be  done,  and  some 
one  else  had  done  it,  he  adds.  And  God  made  the 
firmament.  What  God  requires  of  us,  he  himself 
works  in  us,  or  it  is  not  done.  He  that  commands 
faith,  holiness,  and  love,  creates  them  by  the  power 
of  his  grace  going  along  with  his  word,  that  he  may 
have  all  the  praise.  Lord,  give  what  thou  com- 
maifdest,  and  then  command  what  thou  pleasest. 
The  firmament  is  said  to  be  the  work  of  God’s 
fingers,  Ps.  8.  3.  Though  the  vastness  of  its  extent 
declares  it  to  be  the  work  of  his  arm  stretched  cut, 
yet  the  admirable  fineness  of  its  constitution  shows 
that  it  is  a curious  piece  of  art,  the  work  of  his 
fingers. 

III.  The  use  and  design  of  it;  to  divide  the  waters 
from  the  waters,  that  is,  to  distinguish  between  the 
waters  that  are  wrapt  up  in  the  clouds,  and  those 
that  cover  the  sea;  the  waters  in  the  air,  and  those 
in  the  earth.  See  the  difference  between  these  two, 
carefully  observed.  Dent.  11.  10,  11,  where  Canaan 
is,  upon  this  account,  preferred  to  Eg)-pt,  that 
Egypt  was  moistened,  and  made  fruitful,  with  the 
waters  that  are  under  the  firmament;  but  Canaan 
with  waters  from  above,  out  of  the  firmament;  even 
the  dew  of  heaven,  which  tarrieth  not  for  the  sons 
of  tnen,  Mic.  5.  7.  God  has,  in  the  firmament  of  his 
power,  chambers,  store-chamliers,  whence  he  wa- 
tereth  the  earth,  Ps.  104.  13. — 65.  9,  10.  He  has 
also  treasures,  or  magazines,  of  snow  and  hai.. 


GENESIS,  J 


which  he  hath  reeerued  against  the  day  of  battle  and 
war.  Job  38.  22,  23.  O what  a great  God  is  lie,  who 
has  thus  provided  for  the  comfort  of  all  that  sen^e 
him,  and  the  confusion  of  all  that  hate  him!  It  is 
good  having  him  our  friend,  and  bad  having  him 
our  enemy. 

IV.  The  naming  of  it;  He  called  the  firmament 
Heaven.  Tt  is  the  visible  heaven,  the  pavement  of 
the  holy  city;  above  the  firmament  God  is  said  to 
nave  his  throne,  Ezek.  1.  26,  for  he  has  prepared 
it  in  the  heavens;  the  heavens  therefore  are  said  to 
rule,  Dan.  4.  26.  Is  not  God  in  the  height  of  hea- 
ven? Job  22.  12.  Yes,  he  is,  and  we  should  be  led 
by  the  contemplation  of  the  heavens  that  are  in  our 
^e,  to  consider  Our  Father  which  is  in  heaven. 
The  height  of  the  heavens  should  remind  us  of 
God’s  supremacy,  and  the  infinite  distance  that  is 
between  us  and  fiim;  the  brightness  of  the  lieavens 
and  their  purity  should  remind  us  of  his  glory  and 
majesty,  and  perfect  holiness;  the  vastness  of  the 
heavens,  their  encompassing  of  the  earth,  and  the 
influence  they  have  upon  it,  should  remind  us  of  his 
immensity  and  universal  providence. 

9.  And  God  said,  liOt  the  waters  under 
the  heaven  be  gathered  together  unto  one 
place,  and  let  the  dry  land  appear  : and  it 
was  so.  10.  And  God  called  the  dry  land 
Earth ; and  the  gathering  together  of  the 
waters  called  he  Seas : and  God  saw  that 
it  was  good.  1 1 . And  God  said.  Let  the 
earth  bring  forth  grass,  the  herb  yielding 
seed,  and  the  fruit  tree  yielding  fruit  after 
his  kind,  whose  seed  is  in  itself,  upon  the 
earth : and  it  was  so.  1 2.  And  the  earth 
brought  forth  grass,  and  herb  yielding  seed 
after  his  kind,  and  the  tree  yielding  fruit, 
whose  seed  was  in  itself,  after  his  kind  : 
and  God  saw  that  it  was  good.  1 3.  And 
the  evening  and  the  morning  were  the  third 
day. 

The  third  day’s  work  is  related  in  these  verses; 
the  forming  of  the  sea  and  the  dry  land,  and  the 
making  of  the  earth  fi-uitful.  Hitherto  the  power 
of  the  Creator  had  been  exerted  and  employed 
about  the  upper  part  of  the  visible  world;  the  light 
of  heaven  was  kindled,  and  the  firmament  of  heaven 
fixed;  but  now  he  descends  to  this  lower  world,  the 
earth,  which  was  designed  for  the  children  of  men, 
designed  both  for  their  habitation,  and  for  their 
maintenance;  and  here  we  ha\'e  an  account  of  the 
fitting  of  it  for  both,  the  building  of  their  house,  and 
the  spreading  of  their  table.  Observe, 

I.  How  the  earth  was  prepared  to  be  a habitation 
for  man;  by  the  gathering  of  the  waters  together, 
and  the  making  of  the  ary  land  to  afifiear;  thus, 
instead  of  that  confusion  which  was,  v.  2,  when  earth 
and  water  were  mixed  in  one  great  mass,  behold, 
now,  there  is  order,  by  such  a separation  as  ren- 
dered them  both  useful.  God  said,  l.et  it  be  so,  and 
it  was  so;  no  sooner  said  than  done.  1.  The  waters 
which  had  covered  the  earth,  were  ordered  to 
retire,  and  to  gather  into  one  place,  namely,  those 
hollows  which  were  fitted  and  appointed  for  their 
reception  and  rest:  the  waters,  thus  cleared,  thus 
collected,  and  thus  lodged  in  their  proper  place,  he 
called  Seas;  for  though  they  are  many,  in  distant 
regions,  and  washing  several  shores,  yet  either 
above  ground,  or  under  ground,  they  have  commu- 
nication with  each  other,  and  so  they  are  one,  and 
the  common  receptacle  of  waters,  into  which  all 

VoL.  1. — D 


2'< 

the  rivers  flow,  Eccl.  1.  T.  \\'aters  and  seas  often, 
in  scripture,  signify  troubles  and  afflictions,  Ps.  69. 
j 2,  14,  15. — 42.  7.  God’s  own  people  are  not  ex- 
! enipted  from  these  in  this  world;  but  it  is  their  com- 
fort, that  they  are  only  waters  under  the  heaven, 
(there  is  none  in  heaven,)  and  that  they  are  all  in 
the  place  that  God  has  appointed  them,  and  within 
the  Ijounds  that  he  has  set  them.  How  the  waters 
were  gathered  together,  at  first,  and  how  thev  are 
still  bound  and  limiteil  by  the  same  Almighty  Hand 
that  first  confined  them,  is  elegantly  described,  Ps. 
104.  6... 9,  and  is  there  mentioned  as  matter  of 
praise.  They  that  go  down  to  the  sea  in  ships,  ought 
to  acknowledge  dail)'  the  wisdom,  power,  and  good- 
ness, of  the  Creator,  in  making  the  gi’eat  waters 
serviceable  to  man  for  trade  and  commerce;  and 
they  that  tarry  at  home,  must  own  themselves 
indebted  to  him  that  keeps  the  sea  with  bars  and 
doors  in  its  decreed  place,  and  stays  its  proud  waves. 
Job  38.  10,  11.  2.  The  dry  L.nd  was  made  to  ap- 

pear, and  emerge,  out  of  the  waters,  and  was  called 
Earth,  and  given  to  the  children  of  men.  The 
earth,  it  seems,  was  in  being,  before;  but  it  was  of 
nr)  use,  because  it  was  under  water:  thus  many  of 
God’s  gifts  are  received  in  vain,  because  they  are 
buried;  make  them  to  appear,  and  they  become 
serviceable.  We  who,  to  this  day,  enjoy  the  benefit 
of  the  diy  land,  (though,  since  this,  it  was  once 
deluged,  imd  dried  again,)  must  own  ourselves 
tenants  to,* and  dependents  upon,  that  God  whose 
hands  formed  the  dry  land,  Ps.  95.  5.  Jonah  1.  9. 

II.  How  the  earth  was  furnished  foPthe  mainte- 
nance and  support  of  man,  V.  11,  12.  Present  pro- 
vision was  now  made,  by  the  immediate  products  of 
the  upstart  earth,  which  in  obedience  to  God’s  com- 
mand, was  no  sooner  made,  than  it  became  fruitftil, 
and  brought  forth  grass  for  the  cattle,  and  herb  for 
the  service  of  man.  Provision  was  likewise  made 
for  time  to  come,  by  the  pei-petuating  of  the  several 
kinds  of  vegetables,  which  are  numerous,  various, 
and  all  curious,  and  every  one  having  its  seed  in 
itself  after  its  kind,  tliat,  during  the  continuance  of 
man  upon  the  earth,  food  might  be  fetched  out  of 
the  earth,  for  his  use  and  benefit.  Lord,  what  itr 
man,  that  he  is  thus  visited  and  regarded — that  suicli 
care  should  be  taken,  and  such  provision  made„  for 
the  support  and  preservation  of  those  guilty  and 
obnoxious  lives  which  have  been,  a thousand  times, 
foifeited  I Observe  here,  1.  That  not  only  the 
earth  is  the  Lord’s,  but  the  fulness  thereof  and  lie 
is  the  rightful  Owner  and  sovereign  Disposer,  not 
only  of  it,  but  of  all  its  furaiture.  The  earth  was 
emptiness,  v.  2.  butnow,  by  a,  word’s  speaking,  it  is; 
become  full  of  God’s  riches,  and  bis  they  are  still; 
hii  corn  and  his  vhne,  his  wool  and  his  fax,  Hos. 

2.  9.  Though  the  use  of  them  is  allowed  to  us,  tive 
property  "still  remains  in  him,  and  to  his  service 
and  honour  they  must  be  used.  2.  That  comihon 
providence  is  a continued  creation,  and  in  it,  out 
Father  worketh  hitherto.  The  earth  still  remains, 
under  the  efficacy  of  this  command,  to  bring  forth 
grass,  and  herbs,  and  its  annual  products  ; though, 
being  accoixling  to  the  common  course  of  nature, 
they  are  not  standing  miracles,  yet  they  are  standing 
instances  of  the  unwearied  power,  and  unexhausted 
goodness,  of  the  world’s  gi-eat  Maker  and  Master. 

3.  That  though  God,  ordinarily,  makes  use  of  the 
agency  of  second  causes,  according  to -their  nature, 
yet  he  neither  needs  them,  nor  is  tied  to  them;  for 
though  the  precious  fruits  of  the  earth  are  usually 
brought  forth  by  the  influences  of  the  sun  ana 
moon.  Dent.  33.  14,  yet  here  we  find  the  earth 
bearing  a great  abundance  of  fruit,  probably  ripe 
fruit,  before  the  sun  and  moon  were  made.  4. 
That  it  is  good  to  provide  things  necessary,  betore 
w^e  have  occasion  to  use  them:  before  the  beasts 
and  m.an  were  made,  here  Avere  grass  and  herb  pre-' 


* GENESJS,  1. 


2fi 

pared  for  them,  God  thus  dealt  wisely  and  gra- 
ciously with  man;  let  not  man  then  be  foclisli  and 
unw’ise  for  himself.  5.  That  God  must  have  the 
glory  of  all  the  benefit  we  receive  from  the  pro- 
ducts of  the  earth,  either  for  food  or  i)hysic.  It  is 
he  that  hears  the  heavens,  when  they  hear  the  earth, 
Hos.  2.  21,  22.  And  if  we  have,  through  grace,  an 
interest  in  him  who  is  the  Fountain,  when  the 
streams  are  dried  up,  and  the  Jig-tree  <foth  not  blos- 
som, we  may  rejoice  in  him. 

14.  And  God  said,  Let  there  be  lights  in 
the  firmament  of  the  heaven,  to  divide  the 
day  from  the  night;  and  let  them  be  for 
signs,  and  for  seasons,  and  for  days,  and 
years:  15.  And  let  them  be  for  lights  in 
the  firmament  of  the  heaven,  to  give  light 
upon  the  earth:  and  it ’was  so.  16.  And 
God  made  two  great  lights ; the  greater  light 
to  rule  the  day,  and  the  lesser  light  to  rule 
the  night : he  made  the  stars  also.  1 7.  And 
God  set  them  in  the  firmament  of  the  heaven, 
to  give  light  upon  the  earth,  18.  And  to 
rule  over  the  day  and  over  the  night,  and  to 
divide  the  light  from  the  darkness  : and  God 
saw  that  it  was  good.  1 9.  And  the  evening 
and  the  morning  were  the  fourth  day. 

This  is  the  history  of  the  fourth  day’s  work,  the 
creating  of  the  sun,  moon,  and  stars,  which  are  here 
accounted  for,  not  as  they  are  in  themselves,  and  in 
their  own  nature,  to  satisfy  the  curious,  but  as  they 
are  in  relation  to  this  earth,  to  which  they  serve  as 
lights;  and  this  is  enough  to  furnish  us  with  matter 
for  praise  and  thanksgiving.  Holy  Job  mentions 
this  as  an  instance  of  the  glorious  power  of  God, 
that  by  his  Sfiirit  he  hath  garnished  the  heavens; 
Job  26.  13;  and  here  we  have  an  account  of  that 
garniture,  which  is  not  only  so  much  the  beau- 
ty of  the  upper  world,  but  so  much  the  blessing  of 
this  lower;  for  though  heaven  is  high,  yet  it  hath 
respect  to  this  earth,  and  therefore  should  have  re- 
spect from  it.  Of  the  creation  of  the  lights  of 
heaven  we  have  an  account. 

I.  In  general,  v.  14,  15,  where  we  have,  1.  The 
command  given  concerning  them;  Let  there  be 
lights  in  the  firmament  of  heaven.  God  had  said, 
V.  3,  Let  there  be  light,  and  there  was  light:  but 
that  was,  as  it  were,  a chaos  of  light,  scattered  and 
confused;  now  it  was  collected  and  modelled,  and 
made  into  several  luminaries,  and  so  rendered  both 
more  glorious,  and  more  serviceable.  God  is  the 
God  of  order,  and  not  of  confusion;  and  as  he  is 
Light,  so  he  is  the  Father  and  Former  of  lights. 
Those  lights  were  to  be  in  the  firmament  of  heaven, 
that  vast  expanse  which  encloses  the  earth,  and  is 
conspicuous  to  all;  for  no  man,  vjhen  he  hath  lighted 
a candle,  puts  it  under  a bushel,  but  on  a candle- 
stick; Luke  8.  16;  and  a stately  golden  candlestick 
the  firmament  of  heaven  is,  from  which  these  can- 
dles give  light  to  all  that  are  in  the  house.  The 
firmament  itself  is  spoken  of  as  having  a jrightness 
of  its  own,  Dan.  xii.  3,  but  that  was  not  sufficient 
to  give  light  to  the  earth;  and  perhaps,  for  that  rea- 
son, it  is  not  expressly  said  of  the  second  day’s 
work,  in  which  the  firmament  was  made,  that  it 
was  good,  because,  till  it  was  adorned  with  these 
lights  on  the  fourth  day,  it  was  not  become  ser- 
viceable to  man.  2.  I'lie  Vise  they  were  intended 
to  be  of  to  this  earth.  (1.)  They  must  be  for  the 
distinction  of  times,  of  day  and  night,  summer  and 
winter,  which  are  interchanged  liy  the  motion  of 
. the  sun;  whose  rising  makes  day,  his  setting  night; 


his  approach  towards  our  tropic  makes  summer, 
his  recess  to  the  other,  winter:  and  thus,  under  the 
sun,  there  is  a season  to  every  fiurfiose,  Eccl.  3.  1. 
(2.)  They  must  be  for  the  direction  of  actions. 
They  are  for  signs  of  the  change  of  weather,  that 
the  husbandman  may  order  his  affairs  with  discre- 
tion, foreseeing  by  the  face  of  the  sky,  when  second 
causes  have  begun  to  work,  whether  it  will  be  fair 
or  foul.  Matt.  16.  2,  3.  They  do  also  give  light 
ufion  the  earth,  that  we  may  walk,  (John  11.  9,) 
and  work,  (John  9.  4A  according  as  the  duty  of 
every  day  requires.  The  lights  of  heaven  do  not 
shine  for  themselves,  nor  for  the  world  of  spirits 
above,  they  need  them  not;  but  they  shine  for  us, 
and  for  our  pleasure  and  advantage.  Lord,  what  is 
man,  that  he  should  be  thus  regarded  ! Ps.  8.  3,  4. 
How  ungx’ateful  and  inexcusable  are  we,  if,  when 
God  has  set  up  these  lights  for  us  to  work  by,  we 
sleep,  or  play,  or  trifle  away  the  time  of  business, 
and  neglect  the  great  work  we  were  sent  into  the 
world  about!  The  lights  of  heaven  are  made  to 
serve  us,  and  they  do  it  faithfully,  and  shine,  in 
their  season,  without  fail:  but  we  are  set  as  lights 
in  this  world  to  serve  God;  and  do  we  in  like  man- 
ner, answer  the  end  of  our  creation.^  No,  we  do  not; 
our  light  does  not  shine  before  God,  as  his  lights 
shine  before  us,  Matth.  v.  14.  We  bum  our  Mas- 
ter’s candles;  but  do  not  mind  our  Master’s  work. 

II.  In/iarricu/ar,  n.  16...  18.  The  lights  of  hea- 
ven are,  the  sun,  moon,  and  stars;  and  these  are  all 
the  work  of  God’s  hands.  1.  The  sun  is  the  great- 
est light  of  all,  one  hundred  and  sixty-six  times 
greater  than  the  earth,  and  the  most  glorious  and 
useful  of  all  the  lamps  of  Heaven;  a noble  instance 
of  the  Creator’s  wisdom,  power,  and  goodness,  and 
an  invaluable  blessing  to  the  creatures  of  this  lower 
world.  Let  us  leam  from  Ps.  19.  1...  6.  how  to  give 
unto  God  the  glory  due  to  his  name,  as  the  Maker 
of  the  sun.  2.  The  moon  is  a lesser  light,  and  yet 
is  here  reckoned  one  of  the  greater  lights,  because, 
though,  in  regard  of  its  magnitude  and  borrowed 
light,  it  is  inferior  to  many  of  the  stars,  yet,  by  vir- 
tue of  its  office,  as  ruler  of  the  night,  and  in  respect 
of  its  usefulness  to  the  earth,  it  is  more  excellent 
than  they.  Those  are  most  valuable,  that  are 
most  serviceable;  and  those  are  the  greater  lights, 
not  that  have  the  best  gifts,  but  that  humbly  and 
faithfully  do  the  most  good  with  them.  TVhosoever 
will  be  great  among  you,  let  him  be  your  minister, 
Matt.  20.  26.  3.  Ne  made  the  stars  also;  which  arc 

here  spoken  of,  as  they  appear  to  vulgar  eyes,  with 
out  distinguishing  between  the  planets  and  the  fixed 
rs,  or  accounting  for  their  number,  nature,  place, 
n,  gnitude,  motions,  or  influences;  for  the  scrip- 
tures were  written,  not  to  gratify  our  curiosity,  and 
make  us  astronomers,  but  to  lead  us  to  God,  and 
make  us  saints.  Now  these  lights  are  said  to  rule, 
V.  16,  18,  not  that  they  have  a supreme  dominion,  as 
God  has,  but  they  are  deputy  governors,  rulers  un- 
der him.  Here  the  lesser  light,  the  moon,  is  said  to 
rule  the  night;  but,  Ps.  136.  9,  the  stars  are  men- 
tioned as  sharers  in  that  goveimment,  the  moon  and 
stars  to  rule  by  night.  No  more  is  meant,  than  that 
they  gh'e  light,  Jer.  31.  35.  The  best  and  most 
honourable  way  of  ruling,  is,  by  giving  light,  and 
doing  good:  those  command  , respect,  that  live  a 
useful  life,  and  so  shine  as  lights. 

Leam  from  all  this,  (1.)  The  sin  and  folly  of  that 
ancient  idolatry,  the  worshipping  of  the  sun,  moon, 
and  stars,  which,  some  think,  took  rise,  or  counte- 
nance at  least,  from  some  broken  ttaditions  in  the 
patriarchal  age,  concerning  the  rule  and  dominion 
of  the  lights  of  heaven.  But  the  account  here  given 
of  them  plainly  shows  that  they  are  both  God’s 
creatures,  and  man’s  servants;  and  therefore  it  is 
both  a great  affront  to  God,  luid  a great  reproach  to 
ourseh  es,  to  make  deities  of  them,  and  give  them 


27 


GENESIS,  I. 


divine  honours ; see  Deut.  4.  19.  (2. ) The  duty 

and  wisdom  of  daily  worshipping  that  God  who 
made  all  these  things,  and  made  them  to  be  that  to 
us,  which  they  are.  I'he  revolutions  of  the  day  and 
night  oblige  us  to  the  solemn  sacrifice  of  pravers 
and  praises,  every  morning  and  evening. 

20.  And  God  said,  Let  the  waters  bring 
forth  abundantly  the  moving  creature  that 
hath  life,  and  fowl  that  may  fly  above  the  I 
earth  in  the  open  firmament  of  heaven. 
21.  And  God  created  gi-eat  whales,  and 
every  living  creature  that  moveth,  which  ; 
the  waters  brought  forth  abundantly,  after  ! 
their  kind,  and  ever\'  vvinged  fowl  after  his 
kind  : and  God  saw  that  it  was  good.  22. 
And  God  blessed  them,  saying.  Be  fruitful, 
and  multiply,  and  fill  the  waters  in  the  seas, 
and  let  fowl  multiply  in  the  earth.  23.  And 
the  evening  and  the  morning  were  the  fifth 
day. 

Each  day,  hitherto,  has  produced  very  noble  and  j 
excellent  beings,  which  we  can  never  sufficiently 
idmire;  but  we  do  not  read  of  the  creation  of  any 
living  creature,  till  the  Jifth  day,  which  these  \ er- 
ses  gives  us  an  account  of.  The  work  of  creation 
not  only  proceeded  gradually  from  one  thing  to  an- 
other, but  rose  and  advanced  gradually  from  that 
which  was  less  excellent  to  that  which  was  more 
so,  teaching  us  to  press  toward  ])erfection,  and  en- 
deavour that  our  last  works  may  be  our  best  works. 

It  was  on  the  fifth  day  that  the  fish  and  fowl  were 
created,  and  both  out  of  the  waters  ; though  there 
is  one  kind  of  flesh,  of  fishes,  and  another,  of  birds, 
yet  they  were  made  together,  <md  both  out  of  the 


causes. 


I.  The  making  of  the  fish  and  fowl,  at  first,  v. 

20,  21.  God  commanded  them  to  be  produced;  he 
said.  Let  the  ivaters  bring  forth  abundantly;  not 
as  if  the  waters  had  any  productive  power  of  their 
OAvn,  but,  “Let  them  be  brought  into  being,  the 
fish  in  the  waters,  and  the  fowl  out  of  them.” 
This  command  he  himself  executed;  God  created 
great  whales,  isf c.  Insects,  which  perhaps,  are  as 
various  and  as  numefous  as  any  species  of  animals, 
and  their  stmeture  as  curious,  were  part  of  this 
day’s  work,  some  of  them  being  allied  to  the  fish, 
ani  others  to  the  fowl.  Mr.  Boyle  (I  remember) 
says,  he  admires  the  Creator’s  wisdom  and  power 
as  much  in  ain  ant  as  in  an  elephant.  Notice  is  here 
taken  of  the  various  sorts  of  fish  and  fowl,  each  af- 
ter their  kind  ; and  of  the  great  numbers  of  both 
that  were  produced,  for  the  waters  brought  forth 
abunuantly;  and  particular  mention  is  made  of 
great  whales,  the  largest  of  fishes,  whose  bulk  and  j 
strength,  exceeding  that  of  any  other  animal,  are  j 
remarkable  proofs  of  the  power  and  greatness  of ' 
the  Creator.  The  express  notice  here  taken  of  the  I 
whale,  above  all  the  rest,  seems  sufficient  to  deter-  | 
mine  what  animal  is  meant  by  the  Leviathan,  Job  ; 
41.  1.  Tlie  curious  formation  of  the  bodies  of  ani-  | 
mals,  their  different  sizes,  shapes,  and  natures,  with  : 
the  admirable  powers  of  the  sensitive  life  with 
which  they  are  endued,  when  duly  considered,  ’ 
serve,  not  only  to  silence  and  shame  the  objections  j 
of  atheists  and  infidels,  but  to  raise  high  thoughts  j 
and  high  praises  of  God  in  pious  and  devout  souls,  ' 
Ps.  104.  25,  &c.  I 

II.  The  blessing  of  them,  in  order  to  their  con-  | 
tinuance.  Life  is  a wasting  thing  ; its  strength  is  ' 


i[  not  the  strength’  of  stones,  it  is  a candle  that  will 
i burn  out,  if  it  be  not  first  blown  out  ; and  therefore 
the  wise  Creator  not  only  made  the  individuals,  but 
I provided  for  the  propagating  of  the  several  kinds, 
:j  u.  22.  God  blessed  them,  saying.  Be  fruitful,  and 
I Jnultiply.  God  will  bless  his  own  works,  and  not 
[ forsake  them  ; and  what  he  doeth  it  shall  be  for  a 
perpetuity,  Eccl.  3.  14.  The  power  of  God’s  pro- 
\ idence  preserves  all  things,  as,  at  first,  his  creating 
power  produced  them.  Fiaiitfulness  is  the  eft’cct 
of  God’s  blessing,  and  must  be  ascribed  to  it ; the 
multiplying  of  the  fish  and  fowl,  from  year  to  year, 
is  still  the  fruit  of  this  blessing.  Well,  let  us  give 
to  God  the  glory  of  the  continuance  of  these  crea- 
tures to  this  day  for  the  benefit  of  man.  See  Job  12. 
7 . . 9.  It  is  pity  that  fishing  and  fowling,  recrea- 
tions innocent  in  themselves,  should  be  ever  abused 
to  divert  any  from  God  and  their  duty,  while  they 
are  capable  of  being  improved  to  lead  us  to  the  con- 
templation of  the  wisdom.,  power,  and  goodness  of 
him  that  made  all  these  things,  and  to  engage  us  to 
stand  in  aAve  of  him,  as  the  fish  and  fowl  do  of  us. 

24,  And  God  said,  Let  the  earth  bring 
forth  the  living  creature-  after  his  kind,  cat- 
tle, and  creeping  thing,  and  beast  of  the 
earth  after  his  kind : and  it  was  so.  25. 
And  God  made  the  beast  of  the  earth  after 
his  kind,  and  cattle  after  their  kind,  and 
evei-y  thing  that  creepeth  upon  the  earth 
after  his  kind  : and  God  saw  that  it  was' 
good. 

We  have  here  the  first  part  of  the  sijcth  day’s 
work.  The  sea  was,  the  day  before,  replenished 
with  its  fish,  and  the  air  Avith  its  foAvl ; and,  this 
day,  Avere  made  the  beast  of  the  earth,  cattle,  and 
the  creeping  things  that  pertain  to  the  earth.  Here, 
as  before,  1.  The  Lora  gave  the  word;  he  said. 
Let  the  earth  bring  forth,  not  as  if  the  earth  had 
any  such  prolific  virtue  as  to  produce  these  animals, 
or  as  if  God  resigned  his  creating  poAver  to  it ; but, 

“ Let  these  creatures  now  come  into  being  upon  the 
earth,  and  out  of  it,  in  their  respective  kinds,  con- 
formable to  the  ideas  of  them  in  the  divine  counsels 
concerning  their  creation.”  2.  He  also  did  the 
work;  he  made  them  all  after  their  kind,  not  only 
of  divers  shapes,  but  of  divers  natures,  manners, 
food,  and  fashions  ; some  to  be  tame  about  the  house, 
others  to  be  Avild  in  the  fields : some  living  upon 
grass  and  herbs,  others  upon  flesh;  some  hai-mless, 
and  others  raA'enous  ; some  bold,  and  others  timo- 
rous ; some  for  man’s  senice,  and  not  his  suste- 
nance, as  the  horse  ; others  for  his  sustenance,  and 
not  his  service,  as  the  sheep;  others  for  both,  as 
the  ox  ; and  some  for  neither,  as  the  Avild  beasts. 

In  all  Avhich  appears  the  manifold  Avisdom  of  the. 
Creator. 

26.  And  God  said,  Let  us  make  man  in 
our  image,  after  our  likeness ; and  let  them 
liave  dominion  over  the  fish  of  the  sea,  and 
over  the  fowl  of  the  air,  and  over  the  cattle, 
and  over  all  the  earth,  and  over  every  creep- 
ing thing  that  creepeth  upon  the  earth.  27. 
So  God  created  man  in  his  oicn  image,  in 
the  image  of  God  created  he  him ; male  and 
female  created  lie  them.  28.  And  God 
blessed  them,  and  God  said  unto  them.  Be 
fruitful,  and  multiply,  and  replenish  the 
earth,  and  subdue  it ; and  have  dominion 
over  the  fish  of  the  sea,  and  over  the  foivl 


28 


GENESIS,  1. 


of  the  air,  and  over  every  living  thing  that 
moveth  upon  the  earth. 

We  have  here  the  second  part  of  the  sixth  day’s 
work,  the  creation  of  man,  which  we  are,  in  a spe- 
cial manner,  concerned  to  take  notice  of,  that  we 
may  know  ourselves.  Observe, 

I.  That  man  was  made  last  of  all  the  creatures, 
that  it  might  not  be  suspected  that  he  had  been,  any 
way,  a helper  to  God  in  the  creation  of  the  world: 
that  question  must  be  for  ever  humbling  and  morti- 
tying  to  him,  Where  viast  thou,  or  any  of  thy  kind, 
%vhen  I laid  the  foundations  of  the  earth?  Job  38. 
4.  Yet  it  was  both  an  honour  and  a favour  to  him, 
that  he  was  made  last;  an  hcnour,  for  the  method 
of  the  creation  was,  to  advance  from  that  which 
was  less  perfect  to  that  which  was  more  so;  and  a 
favour,  for  it  was  not  fit  he  should  be  lodged  in  the 
palace  designed  for  him,  till  it  was  completely  fitted 
lU)  and  furnished  for  his  reception.  Man,  as  soon 
as  he  was  made,  had  the  whole  visible  creation  be- 
fore him,  both  to  contemplate,  and  to  take  the  com- 
fort of.  Man  was  made  the  same  day  that  the 
beasts  were,  because  his  body  was  made  of  the  same 
earth  with  their’s;  and  while  he  is  in  the  body,  he 
inhabits  the  same  earth  with  them:  God  forbid  that 
by  indulging  the  body  and  the  desires  of  it,  we 
siiould  make  ourselves  like  the  beasts  that  perish ! 

II.  That  man’s  creation  was  a more  signal  and 
immediate  act  of  divine  wisdom  and  power  than 
that  of  the  other  creatures.  The  narrative  of  it  is 
introduced  with  something  of  solemnity,  and  a 
’manifest  distinction  from  the  rest:  hitherto,  it  had 
lieen  said.  Let  there  be  light,  and  Let  there  he  a 
firmament;  or,  “ Let  the  earth,  or  waters,  bring 
forth  such  a thing;”  but  now  the  word  of  command 
is  turned  into  a word  of  consultation,  Let  us  make 
man,  for  whose  sake  the  rest  of  the  creatures  were 
made:  this  is  a work  we  must  take  into  our  own 
hands.”  In  the  former,  he  speaks  as  one  having 
jiutliority,  in  this  as  one  having  affection,  for  his 
delights  were  with  the  sons  of  men,  Prov.  8.  31.  It 
should  seeifi  as  if  this  were  the  work  which  he 
longed  to  be  at;  as  if  he  had  said,  “having  at  last 
settled  the  preliminaries,  let  us  now  apply  ourselves 
to  the  business.  Let  us  make  man.”  Man  was  to' 
be  a creature  different  from  all  that  had  been  hith- 
erto made.  Flesh  and  spirit,  heaven  and  earth, 
nuist  be  put  together  in  him,  and  he  must  be  allied 
to  both  worlds.  And  therefore  God  himself  not  only 
undertakes  to  make,  but  is  pleased  so  to  express 
liimself,  as  if  he  called  a council  to  consider  of  the 
making  of  him;  Let  us  make  man.  The  three  per- 
sons of  the  Trinity,  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost, 
consult  about  it,  and  concur  in  it,  because  man, 
when  he  was  made,  was  to  be  dedicated  and  devoted 
to  Father,  Son,  and  Holy  Ghost.  Into  that  Great 
Name  we  are,  with  good  reason,  b^tised,  for  to 
that  Great  Name  we  owe  our  being.  Let  them  nde 
man,  who  said.  Let  us  make  man. 

III.  That  man  was  made  in  God’s  image,  and 
after  his  likeness;  two  words  to  express  the  same 
thing,  and  making  each  other  the  more  expressive; 
image  and  likeness  denote  the  likest  image,  the 
nearest  resemblance  of  any  of  the  visible  creatures. 
Man  was  not  made  in  the  likeness  of  any  creature 
that  went  before  him,  but  in  the  likeness  of  his  Cre- 
ator; yet  still,  between  God  and  man  there  is  an 
infinite  distance.  Christ  only  is  the  express  image 
of  God’s  person,  as  the  Son  of  his  Father,  having 
the  same  nature.  It  is  only  some  of  God’s  honour, 
that  is  ])ut  upon  man,  who  is  God’s  image,  only 
us  the  shadow  in  the  glass,  or  the  king’s  impress 
upon  the  coin.  God’s  image  upon  man  consists  in 
these  three  things,  1.  In  his  nature  and  constitu- 
tion, not* those  of  his  body,  (for  God  has  not  a body,) 
but  those  of  his  soul.  This  honour  indeed  God  has 


I put  upon  the  body  of  man,  that  the  Word  was  made 
nesh,  the  Son  of  God  was  clothed  with  a body  like 
unto  our’s,  and  will  shortly  clothe  our’s  with  a gloiy 
like  unto  his.  And  this  we  may  safely  say.  That 
he  by  whom  God  made  the  worlds,  not  only  the 
great  world,  but  man  the  little  world,  formed  the 
human  body,  at  the  first,  according  to  the  platfmin 
he  designed  for  himself  in  the  fulness  of  time.  But 
it  is  the  soul,  the  great  soul,  of  man,  that  does  espe- 
cially bear  God’s  image.  The  soul  is  a spirit,  an 
intelligent,  immortal  spirit,  an  influencing  active 
spirit,  herein  resembling  God,  the  Father  of  Spir- 
its, and  the  Soul  of  the  world.  The  spirit  of  man  is 
the  candle  of  the  Lord.  The  soul  of  man,  consi- 
dered in  its  three  noble  faculties,  understanding, 
will,  and  active  poAver,  is  perhaps  the  brightest 
clearest  looking-glass  in  nature,  wherein  to  see  God. 
2.  In  his  place  and  authority.  Let  us  make  man  in 
our  image,  and  let  them  have  dominion.  As  he  has 
the  government  of  the  inferior  creatures,  he  is,  as 
it  were,  God’s  representative,  or  viceroy,  upon 
earth;  they  ^re  not  capable  of  fearing  and  serving 
Gcd,  therefore  God  has  appointed  them  to  fear  and 
serve  man.  Yet  his  government  of  himself  by  the 
freedom  of  his  will,  has  in  it  more  of  God’s  image 
than  his  government  of  the  creatures.  3.  In  his 
purity  and  rectitude.  God’s  image  upon  man  con- 
sists in  knowledge,  righteousness,  and  true  holiness, 
Eph.  4.  24.  Col.  3.  10.  He  was  upright,  Eccl.  7. 
29.  He  had  an  habitual  conformity  of  all  his  natural 
powers  to  the  whole  will  of  Gcd.  His  understand- 
ing saw  divine  things  clearly  and  truly,  and  there 
were  no  errors  or  mistakes  in  his  knowledge:  his 
will  complied  readily  and  universally  with  the  Avill 
of  God,  without  reluctancy  or  resistance:  his  affec- 
; tions  Avere  all  regular,  and  he  had  no  inordinate  ap- 
j petites  or  passions:  his  thoughts  were  easily  brought, 
and  fixed,  to  the  best  subjects,  and  there  was  no 
vanity  or  ungovemableness  in  them.  All  the  inferior 
powers  were  subject  to  the  dictates  and  directions 
of  the  superior,  Avithout  any  mutiny  or  rebellion. 
Thus  holy,  thus  happy,  were  our  first  parents,  in 
having  the  image  of  God  upon  them.  And  this 
honour  put  upon  man,  at  first,  is  a good  reason  why 
Ave  should  not  speak  ill  one  of  another.  Jam.  3.  9, 
nor  do  ill  one  to  another,  Gen.  9.  6,  and  a good  rea 
son  why  Ave  should  not  debase  ourselves  to  the 
service  of  sin,  and  Avhy  Ave  should  devote  ourselves 
to  God’s  service.  But  hoAv  art  thou  fallen,  O son  of 
the  morning!  Hoav  is  this  image  of  God  upon  man 
defaced!  How  small  are  the  remains  of  it,  and  how 
great  the  ruins  of  it ! The  Lord  renew  it  upon  oui 
souls  bv  his  sanctifying  grace! 

IV.  That  man  was  made  male  and  female,  and 
blessed  with  the  blessing  of  fimitfulness  and  increase. 
God  said.  Let  us  make  man,  and  immediately  it 
folloAvs,  So  God  created  man;  he  performed  what 
he  resolved.  With  us,  saying  and  doing  are  two 
things;  but  thqy  are  not  so  Avith  God.  He  cre- 
ated him  male  and  female,  Adam  and  Eve;  Adam, 
first  out  of  earth,  and  Eve  out  of  his  side.  ch.  2.  It 
should  seem  that  of  the  rest  of  the  creatures,  God 
made  many  cotiples,  but  of  man,  did  not  he  make 
one?  (Mai.  2.  15.)  though  he  had  the  residue  of  the 
Spirit:  Avhence  Christ  gathers  an  argument  against 
divorce,  Matth.  19.  4,  5.  Our  first  father,  Adam, 
Avas  confined  to  one  Avife;  and  if  he  had  put  her 
aAvay,  there  Avas  no  other  for  him  to  marrjq  Avhich 
plainly  intimated  that  the  bond  of  marriage  was  not 
to  l)e  dissolved  at  pleasure.  Angels  Avere  not  made 
male  and  female,  for  they  Avere  not  to  propagate 
their  kind,  (Luke  20.  34..,36. ) but  man  was  made 
so,  that  the  nature  might  be  propagated,  and  the 
race  continued.  Fires  and  candles,  the  luminaries 
of  this  loAver  Avcrld,  because  the)^  Avaste,  and  go  out, 

I have  a poAver  to  light  more;  but  it  is  not  so  Avith  the 
! lights  of  heaven,  stars  do  not  kindle  stars.  God 


29 


GENESIS,  1. 


made  but  one  male  and  one  female,  that  all  the 
nations  of  men  might  know  themselves  to  be  made 
of  one  blood,  descendants  from  one  common  stock, 
and  might  thereby  be  induced  to  love  one  another. 
God,  having  made  them  capable  of  transmitting  the 
nature  they  had  I’eceived,  said  to  them.  Be  fruitful, 
and  multifily,  and  replenish  the  earth.  Here  he 
gave  them,  1.  A lar^e  inheritance;  Refilenish  the 
earth;  that  is  it,  that  is  bestowed  upon  the  children 
of  men.  They  were  made  to  dwell  ufion  the  face 
of  all  the  earth.  Acts  17.  26.  That  is  the  place 
in  which  God  has  set  man  to  be  the  ser\rant  of  his 
providence,  in  the  govemment  of  the  inferior  crea- 
tures, and,  as  it  were,  the  intelligence  of  this  orb; 
to  be  the  receiver  of  God’s  bounty,  which  other 
creatures  live  upon,  but  do  not  know  it:  to  be  like- 
wise the  collector  of  his  praises  in  this  lower  world, 
and  to  pay  them  into  the  exchequer  above,  Ps.  145. 
10,  and  (lastly)  to  be  a probationer  for  a better  state. 
2.  A numerous,  lasting  family,  to  enjoy  this  inher- 
itance; pronouncing  a blessing  upon  them,  in  the 
virtue  of  which  their  posterity  should  extend  to  the 
utmost  comers  oi  the  earth,  and  continue  to  the 
utmost  period  of  time.  Fmitfulness  and  increase 
depend  upon  the  blessing  of  God:  Obed-Edom  had 
eight  sons,  for  God  blessed  him,  1 Chron.  26.  5.  It 
is  owing  to  this  blessing  which  God  commanded  ■’t 
first,  that  the  race  of  mankind  is  still  in  being, 
and  that  as  one  generation  fiasseth  away,  another 
cometh. 

V.  That  God  gave  to  man,  when  he  had  made 
him,  a dominion  over  the  inferior  creatures,  over 
the  fish  of  the  sea,  and  over  the  fowl  of  the  dir: 
though  man  provides  for  neither,  he  has  power  over 
both,  much  more  over  every  living  thing  that  mov- 
eth  upon  the  earth,  which  are  more  under  his  care, 
and  within  his  reach,  God  designed,  hereby,  to 
put  an  honour  upon  man,  that  he  might  find  himself 
the  more  strongly  obliged  to  bring  honour  to  his 
Maker.  This  dominion  is  very  much  diminished 
and  lost  by  the  fall : yet  God’s  providence  continues 
so  much  of  it  to  the  children  of  men,  as  is  necessaiy 
to  the  safety  and  support  of  their  lives,  and  God’s 
grace  has  given  to  the  saints  a new  and  better  title 
to  the  creature  than  that  which  was  forfeited  by 
sin;  for  all  is  our’s,  if  we  are  Christ’s,  1 Cor.  ?.  22. 

29.  And  God  said,  Behold,  I have  given 
you  every  herb  bearing  seed,  which  is  upon 
the  face  of  all  the  earth,,  and  every  tree, 
in  the  which  is  the  fruit  of  a tree  yielding 
seed ; to  you  it  shall  be  for  meat.  30.  And 
to  every  beast  of  the  earth,  and  to  every 
fowl  of  the  air,  and  to  evert'’  thing  that 
crecpeth  upon  the  earth,  wherein  there  is 
life,  I have  ffiven  every  green  herb  for  meat : 
and  it  was  so. 

We  have  here  the  third  part  of  the  sixth  day’s 
work  which  was,  not  any  new  creation,  but  a gi*a- 
cious  provision  of  food  for  all  flesh,  Ps.  136.  25.  He 
that  made  man  and  beast,  thus  took  care  to  pre- 
serve both,  Ps.  36.  6.  Here  is, 

I.  Food  provided  for  man,  v.  29.  Herbs  and 
fi'uits  must  be  his  meat,  including  corn,  and  all  the 
products  of  the  earth;  these  were  allowed  him,  but 
(it  should  seem)  not  flesh,  till  after  the  flood,  ch. 
9.  3.  And  before  the  earth  was  deluged,  much 
more,  before  it  was  cursed,  for  man’s  sake,  its  fniits, 
no  doubt,  were  more  pleasing  to  his  taste,  and  more 
strengthening  and  nomishing  to  the  body,  than  mar- 
row and  fatness,  and  all  the  portion  of  the  king’s 
meat,  are  now.  See  here,  1.  That  which  should 
make  us  humble.  As  we  are  made  out  of  the  earth, 
s<j  we  are  maintained  out  of  it.  Once  indeed,  may 


I did  eat  angels’  food,  bread  from  heaven;  but  they 
died,  John  6.  49:  it  was  to  them  but  as  food  out 
of  the  earth,  Ps.  104.  14.  There  is  meat  that 
endures  to  everlasting  life;  the  Lord  evermore  give 
us  that!  2.  That  which  should  make  us  thankfid. 
The  Lord  is  for  the  body;  from  him  we  receive  all 
the  supports  and  comforts  of  this  life,  and  to  him  we 
must  give  thanks.  He  gives  us  all  things  richly  to 
enjoy,  not  only  for  necessitjq  but  plenty,  dainties, 
iuid  varieties,  for  ornament  and  delight.  How  mi.ch 
are  we  indebted!  How  careful  should  we  be,  as  we 
live  upon  God’s  Ijounty,  to  live  to  his  glory ! 3.  That 
which  should  make  us  temperate,  and  content  with 
our  lot.  Though  Adam  had  dominion  given  him 
over  fish  and  fowl,  yet  God  confined  him,  in  his 
food,  to  herbs  and  fmits;  and  he  never  comjdained 
of  it.  Though  afterwards  he  coveted  forbidden 
fruit,  for  the  sake  of  the  wisdom  and  knowledge  he 
promised  himself  from  it,  yet  we  never  read  that 
he  coveted  forbidden  flesh.  If  God  give  us  food 
for  our  lives,  let  us  not,  with  murm””^ng  Israel, 
ask  food  for  our  lusts,  Ps.  78.  18.  Set  Dan.  1 15. 

II.  Food  provided  for  the  beasts,  v.  30.  Doth 
God  take  care  for  oxen?  Yes,  certainly;  he  pro- 
vides food  convenient  for  them,  and  not  for  oxen 
only,  which  were  used  in  his  sacrifices,  and  man’s 
service,  but  even  the  young  lions  and  the  young 
ravens  are  the  care  of  his  providence,  they  ask  and 
have  their  meat  from  God.  Let  us  give  to  God  the 
glory  of  his  bounty  to  the  inferior  creatures,  that 
are  all  fed,  as  it  were,  at  his  table,  every  day.  He 
is  a great  Housekeeper,  a very'  rich  and  bountifid 
one,  that  satisfies  the  desire  of  every  living  thing. 
Let  this  encourage  God’s  people  to  cast  their  care 
upon  him,  and  not  to  be  solicitous  respecting  what 
they  shall  eat,  and  what  they  shall  drink.  He  thr.t 
provided  for  Adam  without  his  care,  and  still  pro- 
vides for  all  the  creatures  without  their  care,  will 
not  let  those  that  trust  him,  want  any  good  thing, 
Matth.  6.  26.  He  that  feeds  his  birds,  will  not 
starve  his  babes. 

31.  And  God  saw  every  thing  that  lie 
had  made,  and  behold,  it  teas  very  good. 
And  the  evening  and  the  morning  were  the 
sixth  day. 

We  have,  here,  the  approbation  and  conclusion 
of  the  whole  work  of  creation.  As  for  God,  his  work 
is  perfect;  and  if  he  begin,  he  will  also  make  an 
end,  in  providence  and  gi-ace,  as  well  as  here  in 
creation.  Observe, 

I.  The  review  God  took  of  his  work;  he  savj 
everything  that  he  had  made:  so  he  dees  still;  all 
the  works  of  his  hands  are  under  his  eye.  He  that 
made  all,  sees  all;  he  that  made  us,  sees  us,  Ps. 
139.  1...  16.  Omniscience  cannot  be  separated  fn  m 
Omnipotence.  Known  unto  God  are  all  his  works. 
Acts  15.  18.  But  this  was  the  Eternal  Mind’s  solemn 
reflection  upon  the  copies  of  its  own  wisdom,  and 
the  products  of  its  own  power.  God  has  hereliv 
set  us  an  example  of  reviewing  our  works.  Hae  ing 
given  us  a power  of  reflection,  he  expects  we  slirnld 
use  that  power,  see  our  way,  Jer.  2.  23,  and  think 
of  it,  Ps.  119.  59.  Wlien  we  have  finished  a daifs 
work,  and  are  entering  upon  the  rest  of  the  night, 
we  should  commune  with  our  own  hearts  alxut 
what  we  have  been  doing  that  day;  so  likewise, 
when  we  have  finished  a week's  work,  and  are 
entering  upon  the  sabbath  rest,  we  should  thus  pre- 
pare to  meet  our  God;  and  when  we  are  finishing 
our  life's  work,  and  are  entering  upen  our  rest  in 
the  grave,  that  is  a time  to  bring  to  remembrance, 
that  we  may  die  repenting,  and  so  take  leave  of  it. 

IT.  The  complacency  God  took  in  his  work. 
M'hen  we  come  to  review  our  works,  we  find,  to 
our  shame,  that  much  has  been  very  b^;  but  when 


30 


GENESIS,  11. 


God  reviewed  his,  all  was  very  good.  He  did  not 
pronounce  it  good,  till  he  had  seen  it  so;  to  teach  ! 
us,  not  to  answer  a matter  before  we  hear  it.  The  j 
work  of  creation  was  a veiy  good  work.  All  that 
God  made,  was  well  made,  and  there  was  no  flaw  ‘ 
or  defect  in  it.  1.  It  was  good.  Good,  for  it  is  all 
agreeable  to  the  mind  of  the  Creator,  just  as  he 
would  have  it  to  be;  when  the  transcript  came  to  I 
be  compared  with  the  great  original,  it  was  found 
to  be  exact,  no  errata  in  it;  not  one  misplaced  ; 
stroke.  Good,  for  it  answers  the  end  of  its  creation,  | 
and  is  fit  for  the  purpose  for  which  it  was  designed.  \ 
Good,  for  it  is  serviceable  to  man,  whom  God  had  I 
appointed  lord  of  the  visible  creation.  Good,  for  it  i 
is  all  for  God’s  glory;  there  is  that  in  the  whole  | 
visible  creation,  which  is  a demonstration  of  God’s 
being  and  perfections,  and  which  tends  to  beget,  in 
the  soul  of  man,  a religious  regard  to  him,  and  ven- 
eration of  him.  3.  It  was  very  good.  Of  each  day’s 
work,  (except  the  second,)  it  was  said  that  it  was 
good,  but  now,  it  is  very  good.  For,  1.  Now,  man 
was  made,  /ho  was  the  chief  of  the  ways  of  God, 
who  was  designed  to  be  the  visible  image  of  the 
Creator’s  glory,  and  the  mouth  of  the  creation  in 
his  praises.  2.  Now,  all  was  made;  every  part  was 
good,  but  altogether,  very  good.  The  glory  and 
goodness,  the  beauty  and  harmony,  of  God’s  works, 
both  of  providence  and  grace,  as  this  of  creation, 
will  best  appear,  when  they  are  perfected.  When 
the  top  stone  is  brought  forth,  we  shall  cry,  Grace, 
grace,  unto  it,  Zech.  4.  7.  Therefore  judge  nothing 
before  the  time. 

III.  The  time  when  this  work  was  concluded. 
The  evening  and  the  morning  were  the  sixth  day. 
So  that  in  six  days  God  made  the  world.  We  are 
not  to  think  but  that  God  could  have  made  the  world 
in  an  instant.  He  that  said.  Let  there  be  light,  and 
there  was  light,  could  have  said,  “Let  there  be  a 
world,”  and  there  would  have  been  a world,  in  a 
moment,  in  the  twinkling  of  an  eye,  as  at  the  resur- 
rection. 1 Cor.  15.  52.  But  he  did  it  in  six  days, 
that  he  might  show  himself  a free-agent,  doing  his 
own  work,  both  in  his  own  way,  and  in  his  own  time; 
that  his  wisdom,  power^  and  goodness,  might  appear 
to  us,  and  be  meditated  upon  by  us,  the  more  dis- 
tinctly; and  that  he  might  set  us  an  example  of 
working,  six  days,  and  resting,  the  seventh;  it  is 
therefore  made  the  reason  of  the  fourth  command- 
ment. So  much  would  the  sabbath  conduce  to  the 
keeping  up  of  religion  in  the  world,  that  God  had  an 
eye  to  it,  in  the  timing  of  his  creation.  And  now,  as 
God  reviewed  his  work,  let  us  review  our  medita- 
tions upon  it,  and  we  shall  find  them  very  lame  and 
defective,  and  our  praises  low  and  flat;  let  us  there- 
fore stir  up  ourselves,  and  all  that  is  within  us,  to 
worshifi  him  that  made  the  heaven,  earth,  and  sea, 
and  the  fountains  of  waters,  according  to  the  tenor 
of  the  everlasting  Gospel  which  is  preached  to  every 
nation,  Rev.  14.  6,  7.  All  his  works,  in  all  places 
of  his  dominion,  dobless  him;  and  therefore,  bless 
thou  the  Lord,  0 my  soul. 

CHAP.  II. 

This  chapter  is  an  appendix  to  the  history  of  the  creation, 
more  particularly  explaining,  and  enlarging  upon,  that 
part  of  the  history,  which  relates  immediately  to  man, 
the  favourite  of  this  lower  world.  We  have  in  itj  I.  The 
institution  and  sanctification  of  the  sabbath,  which  was 
made  for  man,  to  further  his  holiness  and  comfort,  v.  1.. 
3.  II.  A more  particular  account  of  man’s  creation,  as 
the  centre  and  summary  of  the  whole  work,  v-  4.. 7.  III. 
A description  of  the  garden  of  Eden,  and  the  placing  of 
man  in  it  under  the  obligations  of  a law  and  covenant,  v. 
8.  . 17.  IV.  The  creation  of  the  woman,  her  marriage  to 
the  man,  and  the  institution  of  the  ordinance  of  marriage, 
V.  18. . 25. 

1.  r|nHUS  the  heavens  and  the  earth  were 
i finished,  and  all  the  host  of  them. 


2.  And  on  the  seventh  day  God  ended  his 
work  which  he  had  made ; and  he  rested  on 
the  seventh  day  from  all  his  work  which  he 
liad  made.,  3.  And  God  blessed  the  seventh 
day,  and  sanctified  it ; because  that  in  it  he 
had  rested  from  all  his  work,  which  God 
created  and  made. 

We  have  here, 

I.  The  settlement  of  the  kingdom  of  nature,  in 

God’s  resting  from  the  work  of  creation,  v.  1,  2. 
\\  here  observe,  1.  That  the  creatures,  made  both 
in  heaven  and  earth,  are  the  hosts,  or  armies  of  them, 
which  denotes  them  to  be  numerous,  but  marshalled, 
disciplined,  and  under  command.  How  great  is  the 
sum  of  them ! And  yet  every  one  knows  and  keeps 
his  place.  God  uses  them  as  his  hosts  for  the  defence 
of  his  people,  and  the  desti-uction  of  his  enemies; 
for  he  is  the  Lord  of  hosts,  of  all  these  hosts,  Dan.  4. 
35.  2.  That  the  heavens  and  the  earth  are  finished 

pieces,  and  so  are  all  the  creatures  in  them.  So  per- 
fect is  God’s  work,  that  nothing  can  be  added  to  it, 
or  taken  from  it,  Eccl.  3.  14.  God  that  began  to 
build,  showed  himself  well-able  to  finish.  3.  That 
after  the  end  of  the  first  six  days,  God  ceased  from 
all  works  of  creation.  He  has  so  ended  his  work,  as 
\ .lat  though,  in  his  providence,  he  worketh  hitherto, 
(John  5.  17.)  preserving  and  governing  all  the  crea- 
tures, and  particularly  forming  the  spirit  of  man 
within  him,  yet  he  does  not  make  any  new  species 
of  creatures.  In  miracles,  he  has  controlled  and 
over-ruled  nature,  but  never  changed  its  settled 
course,  or  r^ealed,  or  added  to,  any  of  its  establish- 
ments. 4.  That  the  eternal  God,  though  infinitely 
happy  in  the  enjoyment  of  himself,  yet  took  a satis- 
faction in  the  work  of  his  own  hands.  He  did  not  rest, 
as  one  weary,  but  as  one  well-pleased  with  the  in- 
stances of  his  own  goodness,  and  the  manifestations 
of  his  own  glory. 

II.  The  commencement  of  the  kingdom  of  grace, 
in  the  sanctification  of  the  sabbath-day,  v.  3.  He 
rested  on  that  day,  and  took  a complacency  in  his 
creatures,  and  then  sanctified  it,  and  appointed  us, 
on  that  day,  to  rest  and  take  a complacency  in  the 
Creator;  and  his  rest  is,  in  the  fourth  commandment, 
made  a reason  for  our’s,  after  six  days’  labour.  Ob- 
serve, 1.  That  the  solemn  observation  of  one  day  in 
seven,  as  a day  of  holy  rest,  and  holy  work,  to  God’s 
honour,  is  the  indispensable  duty  of  all  those  to 
whom  God  has  revetued  his  holy  sabbaths.  2.  That 
the  way  of  sabbath-sanctification,  is  the  good  old 
way,  Jer.  6.  16.  Sabbaths  are  as  ancient  as  the 
world;  and  I see  no  reason  to  doubt  that  the  sabbath, 
being  now  instituted  in  innocency,  was  religiously 
observed  by  the  people  of  God  throughout  the  pa- 
triarchal age.  3.  That  the  sabbath  of  the  Loi*d  is 
truly  honourable,  and  we  have  reason  to  honour  it; 
honour  it,  ftir  the^,sake  of  its  antiquity,  its  great  Au 
thor,  the  sanctification  of  the  first  sabbath  by  the  holy 
God  himself,  and,  in  obedience  to  him,  by  our  first 
parents  in  innocency.  4.  That  the  sabbath-day  is  a 
blessed  day,  for  God  blessed  it;  and  that  which  he 
lilcsscs  is  blessed  indeed.  God  has  put  an  honour 
upon  it,  has  appointed  us,  on  that  day,  to  bless  him, 
and  has  promised,  on  that  day,  to  meet  us  and  bless 
us.  5.  That  the  sabbath-day  is  a holy  day,  for  God 
has  sanctified  it.  He  has  separated  and  distinguish 
cd  it  from  the  rest  of  the  days  of  the  week,  and  he 
has  consecrated  it,  and  set  it  apart  to  himself  and 
his  own  service  and  honour.  Though  it  is  commonly 
taken  for  granted,  that  the  Christian  sabbath  we  ob- 
serve, reckoning  from  the  creation,  is  not  the  se- 
venth but  the  first  day  of  the  week,  yet  being  a 
seventh  day,  and  we,  in  it,  celebrating  the  rest  of 
God  the  Son,  and  the  finishing  the  work  of  our  re- 
demption, we  may  and  ought  to  act  faith  upon  this 


31 


GENESIS,  11. 


original  institution  of  the  sabbath-day,  and  to  com- 
memorate the  work  of  creation,  to  the  honour  of  the 
great  Creator,  who  is  therefore  worthy  to  receive, 
on  that  day,  blessing,  and  honour,  and  praise,  from 
all  religious  assemblies.  I 

4.  These  are  the  generations  of  the  hea- 1 
yens  and  of  the  earth  when  they  were 
created,  in  the  day  that  the  Lord  God  made 
the  earth  and  the  heavens.  5.  And  every 
plant  of  the  field  before  it  was  in  the  earth, 
and  every  herb  of  the  field  before  it  grew:  for 
the  Lord  God  had  not  caused  it  to  rain  up- 
on the  earth,  and  there  was  not  a man  to  till 
the  ground.  6.  But  there  went  up  a mist 
from  the  earth,  and  watered  the  whole  face 
of  the  ground.  7.  And  the  Lord  God  form- 
ed man  of  the  dust  of  the  ground,  and 
breathed  into  his  nostrils  the  bi-eath  of  life; 
and  man  became  a living  soul. 

In  these  verses, 

I.  Here  is  a name  given  to  the  Creator,  which  we 
have  not  yet  met  with,  and  that  is  Jehovah;  the 
LORD  in  capital  letters,  which  is  constantly  used,  | 
in  our  English  translation,  to  intimate  that  in  the 
original  it  is  Jehovah.  All  along,  in  the  first  chap- 
ter, he  was  called  Elohim,  a God  of  power,  but  now 
Jehovah  Elohim,  a God  of  power  and  perfection,  a 
finishing  God.  As  we  find  him  known  by  his  name 
Jehovah,  when  he  appeared  to  perform  what  he  had 

romised,  Exod.  6.  3,  so  now  we  have  him  known 

y that  name,  when  he  had  perfected  what  he  had 
begun.  Jehovah  is  that  great  and,  incommunicable 
name  of  God,  which  denotes  his  having  his  being  of 
himself,  and  his  giving  his  being  to  all  things;  fitly 
therefore  is  he  called  by  that  name,  now  that  hea- 
ven and  earth  are  finished. 

II.  Further  notice  taken  of  the  production  of  plants 

and  herbs,  because  they  were  made  and  appointed 
to  be  food  for  man,  v.  5,  6,  where  observe,  1.  The 
earth  did  not  bring  forth  its  fruits  of  itself,  by  any  in- 
nate virtue  of  its  own,  but  purely  by  the  almighty 
power  of  God,  which  formed  every  plant  and  evei*)’^ 
herb,  before  it  grew  in  the  earth.  Thus  grace  in 
the  soul,  that  plant  of  renown,  grows  not  of  itself  in 
nature’s  soil,  but  is  the  work  of  God’s  own  hands. 
2.  Rain  also  is  the  gift  of  God;  it  came  not  till  the 
Lord  God  caused  it  to  rain.  If  rain  be  wanted,  it  is 
God  that  withholds  it;  if  rain  come  plentifully  in  its 
season,  it  is  God  that  sends  it;  if  it  come  in  a distin- 
guishing way,  it  is  God  that  causeth  it  to  rain  upon 
one  city,  and  not  upon  another,  Amos  4.  7.  3. 

Though  God,  ordinarily,  works  by  means,  yet  he  is 
not  tied  to  them,  but  when  he  pleases,  he  c^  do  his 
own  work  without  them.  As  the  plants  were  pro- 
duced before  the  sun  was  made,  so  they  were  before 
there  was  either  rain  to  water  the  earth,  or  man  to 
till  it  Therefore,  though  we  must  not  tempt  God 
in  the  neglect  of  means,  yet  we  must  tinst  God  in  the 
want  of  means.  4.  Some  way  or  other,  God  will 
take  care  to  water  the  plants  that  are  of  his  own 
pi  mting.  Though,  as  yet,  there  was  no  rain,  God 
made  a mist  equivalent  to  a shower,  and  with  it 
watered  the  whole  face  of  the  ground.  Thus  he 
chose  to  fulfil  his  purpose  by  the  weakest  means, 
that  the  excellency  of  the  power  might  be  of  God. 
Divine  grace  descends  like  a mist  or  silent  dew,  and 
waters  the  church  without  noise,  Deut.  32.  2. 

III.  A more  particular  account  of  the  creation  of 
man,  v.  7.  Man  is  a little  world,  consisting  of  hea- 
ven and  earth,  soul  and  body;  now  here  Ve  have  an 
account  of  the  original  of  both,  and  the  putting  of 
both  together:  let  us  seriously  consider  it,  and  say, 


to  our  Creator’s.p  raise.  We  wctfearfully  and  won- 
derfully made,  Ps.  139.  14.  E,lihu,  in  the  patri- 
archal age,  refers  to  this  history,  when  he  says.  Job 
33.  6,  I also  am  formed  out  of  the  clay,  and  v.  4, 
The  breath  of  the  Almighty  hath  given  me  life,  and 
ch.  32.  8,  There  is  a spirit  in  man.  Observe  then, 

1.  The  mean  original,  and  yet  the  curious  stnic- 

ture,  of  the  body  of  man.  (1. ) The  matter  was  des- 
picable. He  was  xn2L.(^e.  f the  dust  of  the  ground, 
a very  unlikely  thing  to  make  a man  of;  but  the  same 
Infinite  Power  that  made  the  world  of  nothing,  made 
man,  its  master-piece,  of  next  to  nothing.  He  was 
made  of  the  dust,  the  small  dust,  such  as  is  upon  the 
surface  of  the  earth.  Probably,  not  diy  dust,  but 
dust  moistened  with  the  mist  that  went  up,  v.  6. 
He  was  not  made  of  gold-dust,  powder  of  pearl,  or 
diamond  dust,  but  common  dust,  dust  of  the  ground. 
Hence  he  is  said  to  be  of  the  earth,  y oiTH.-^usty, 
1 Cor.  15.  A:7,.  And  we  also  are  of  the  earth,  for  we 
are  of  his  offspring,  and  of  the  same  mould.  So  near 
an  affinity  is  there  betweeii  the  earth  and  our  earthly 
parents,  that  our  mother’s  wombj  out  of  which  we 
were  born,  is  called  the  earth;  (Ps.  139.  15.)  and 
the  earth,  in  which  we  must  be  buried,  is  called  our 
mother's  womb.  Job  1.  21.  Our  foundation  is  in  the 
earth.  Job  4.  19.  Our  fabric  is  earthly,  and  the 
fashioning  of  it  -like  that  of  an  earthen  vessel.  Job 
,•10.  9.  Our  food  is  out  of  the  earth.  Job  28.  5.  Oui 
'familiarity  is  with  the  earth.  Job  17.  14.  Our  fa- 
thers are  in  the  earth,  and  our  own  final  tendency 
is  to  it;  and  what  have  we  to  be  proud  of  then?  Isa. 
51.  1.  (2. ; Yet  the  Maker  was  gi’eat,  and  the  make 

fine.  The  Lord  God,  the  CTeat  Fountain  of  being 
and  power,  formed  man.  Of  the  other  creatures  it 
is  said,  that  they  were  created  and  made;  but  of 
man,  that  he  was  formed,  which  denotes  a gradual 
process  in  the  work  with  great  accuracy  and  exact- 
ness. To  express  the  creation  of  this  new  thing,  he 
takes  a new  word;  a word  (some  think)  borrowed 
from  the  potter’s  formin^is  vessel  upon  the  wheel , 
for  we  are  the  clay,  and  Cicd  the  Potter,  Isa.  64.  8. 
The  body  of  man  is  curiously  wrought,  Ps.  139.  15, 
16.  Materiam  superabat  opus — The  workmanship 
exceeded  the  materials.  Let  us  present  our  bodies 
to  God  as  living  sacrifices,  Rom.  12.  1;  as  living 
temples,  1 Cor.  6.  19;  and  then  these  vile  bodies 
shall  shortly  be  new-fonned  like  Christ’s  glorious 
body,  Phil.  3.  21. 

2.  The  high  original,  and  yet  the  admirable  ser- 
viceableness, of  the  soul  of  man.  (1.)  It  takes  its 
rise  from  the  breath  of  heaven,  and  is  produced  by 
it.  It  was  not  made  of  the  earth,  as  the  body  was; 
it  is  pity  then  that  it  should  cleave  to  the  earth,  and 
mind  earthly  things.  It  came  immediately  from 
God,  he  gave  it  to  be  put  into  the  body,  (Eccl.  12. 
7. ) as,  afterward,  he  gave  the  tables  ox  stone  of  his 
own  Writing  to  be  put  into  the  ark,  and  the  urim  of 
his  own  iraming  to  be  put  into  the  breast-plate. 
Hence  God  is  not  only  the  Former,  but  the  Father, 
of  spirits.  Let  the  soul  which  God  ha^reathed 
into  us,  breathe  after  him;  and  let  it  be  for  him, 
since  it  is  from  him.  Into  his  hands  let  us  commit 
our  spirits,  for  from  his  hands  we  had  them.  (2. ) 
It  takes  its  lodging  in  a house  of  clay,  and  is  the  life 
and  support  ot  it.  It  is  by  it,  that  man  is  a living 
soul,  that  is,  a living  man;  for  the  soul  is  the  man. 
The  body  would  be  a worthless,  useless,  loathsome 
carcase,  if  the  soul  did  not  animate  it.  To  God  that 
gave  us  these  souls,  we  must  shortly  give  an  account 
of  them,  how  wq  have  employed  them,  used  them, 
proportioned  them,  and  disposed  of  them:  and  if 
then  it  be  found  that  we  have  lost  them,  though  it 
were  to  gain  the  world,  we  are  undone  for  ever 
Since  the  extraction  of  the  soul  is  so  noble,  and  its 
nature  and  faculties  are  so  excellent,  let  us  not  be 
of  those  fools  that  despise  their  own  souls,  by  pre- 
ferring their  bodies  before  them,  Prov.  15,  32 


32 


GENESIS,  U. 


When  our  Lord  Jesus  anointed  the  blind  man’s  eyes 
\vith  clay,  perhaps  he  intimated  that  it  was  he  who 
tirst  formed  the  man  out  of  the  clay;  and  when  he 
breathed  on  his  disci/iles,  saying.  Receive  ye  the 
Holy  Ghost,  he  intimated  that  it  was  he  who  first 
breathed  into  man’s  nostrils  the  breath  of  life.  He 
that  made  the  soul,  is  alone  able  to  new-make  it. 

8.  And  the  Lord  God  planted  a garden 
eastward  in  Eden  ; and  there  he  put  the  man 
whom  lie  had  formed.  9.  And  out  of  the 
ground  made  the  Lord  God  to  grow  every 
tree  that  is  pleasant  to  the  sight,  and  good 
for  food  : the  tree  of  life  also  in  the  midst  of 
the  garden,  and  the  tree  of  knowledge  of 
good  and  evil.  10.  And  a river  went  out  of 
Eden  to  water  the  garden  ; and  from  thence 
it  was  parted,  and  became  into  four  heads. 

1 1.  The  name  of  the  first  is  Pison  : that  is  it 
which  compasseth  the  whole  land  of  Havi- 
lah,  where  there  is  gold.  1 2.  And  the  gold  of 
that  land  is  good : there  is  bdellium  and  the 
onyx-stone.  1 3.  And  the  name  of  the  se- 
c(md  river  is  Gihon : the  same  is  it  that  com 
passeth  the  whole  land  of  Ethiopia.  1 4.  And3| 
the  name  of  the  third  river  is  Hiddekel : that 
is  it  which  goeth  toward  the  east  ol  Assyria, 
And  the  fourth  river  is  Euphrates.  1 5.  And 
the  L/ORD  God  took  the  man,  and  put  him 
into  the  garden  of  Eden,  to  dress  it  and  to 
keep  it. 


Man  consisting  of  body  and  soul,  a body  made  out 
of  the  earth,  and  a rational  immortal  soul  the  breath 
of  heaven,  we  have,  in  these  verses,  the  provision 
that  was  made  for  the  happiness  of  both;  he  that 
made  him,  tgok  care  to  make  him  happy,  if  he  could 
but  have  kept  himself  so,  and  known  when  he  was 
well  off.  That  part  of  man  by  which  he  is  allied  to  the 
world  of  sense,  was  made  happy;  for  he  was  put  in 
the  paradise  of  God : that  part  by  which  he  is  allied  to 
the  world  of  spirits,  was  well  provided  for;  for  he 
was  taken  into  covenant  with  God.  Lord,  what  is 
man,  that  he  should  be  thus  dignified?  Man  that  is 
a worm ! Here  we  have, 

I.  A description  of  the  garden  of  Eden,  -which 
was  intended  for  the  mansion  and  demesne  of  this 
great  lord,  the  palace  of  this  prince.  The  inspired 
penman,  in  this  history,  writing  for  the  Jews  first, 
and  calculating  his  narratives  for  the  infant-state  of 
the  church,  descriljes  things  by  their  outwai’d  sensi- 
ble appearances,  and  leaves  us,  by  further  discove- 
ries of  the  divine  light,  to  be  led  into  the  divine  un- 
derstanding of  the  mysteries  couched  under  them. 
Spiritual  things  were  strong  meat,  which  they  could 
not  yet  bear;  but  he  writes  to  them  as  unto  carnal, 
1 Cor.  3.  1.  Therefore  lie  does  not  so  much  insist  uji- 
on  the  happiness  of  Adam’s  mind,  as  upon  that  of  his 
outward  estate.  The  Mosaic  history,  as  well  as  the 
Mosaic  law,  has  rather  the  patterns  of  heavenly 
things,  than  the  heavenly  things  themselves,  Heb. 
^ 23.  Oliserve, 

1.  The  place  appointed  for  Ad  im ’s' residence  was 
a garden ; not  an  ivory  house,  or  a palace  overlaid 
with  gold,  but  a ganlen  furnished  and  adorned  by 
nature,  not  by  art.  What  little  reason  have  men  to 
be  proud  of  stately  and  magnificent  buildings,  when 
it  was  the.  happiness  of  man  m iimocencv,  that  he 
needed  none!  As  clothes  came  in  with  sin,  so  did 
houses.  Tlie  heaven  was  the  roof  of  Adam’s  house; 
uid  never  was  any  roof  so  curiously  ceiled  and  paint- 


ed; the  earth  was  his  floor;  and  never  was  any  floor 
so  richly  inlaid:  the  shadow  of  the  trees  was  his  i-e- 
tirement,  under  them  were  his  dining-rooms,  his 
lodging-rooms;  and  never  were  any  rooms  so  finely 
hung  as  these;  Solomon’s,  in  all  their  glory,  were 
not  arrayed  like  them.  The  better  Ave  can  accom- 
modate ourselves  to  plain  things,  and  the  less  ^ve 
indulge  ourselves  with  those  artificial  delights  which 
have  been  invented  to  gp-atify  men’s  pride  and  luxu- 
ry, the  nearer  we  approach  to  a state  of  innocency. 
Nature  is  content  with  a little,  and  that  which  is 
most  natural;  grace  with  less;  but  lust  with  nothing. 

2.  The  contrivance  and  furniture  of  this  garden 
Avere  the  immediate  Avork  of  God’s  wisdom  and 
power.  The  Lord  God  planted  this  garden,  that 
IS,  he  had  planted  it — ^upon  the  third  day,  when  the 
fruits  of  the  earth  were  made.  We  may  Avell  sup- 
pose it  to  have  been  the  most  accomplished  place 
for  pleasure  and  delight  that^vm’  the  sun  saw;  when 
the  all-sufficient  God  himself  designed  it  to  be  the 
present  happiness  of  his  beloved  creature,  man,  in 
innocency,  and  a type  and  figure  of  the  happiness 
of  the  chosen  remnant  in  glory.  N^o  delights  can 
be  agreeable  or  satisfying  to  a soul,  but  those  that 
God  himself  has  provided  and  appointed  for  it;  no 
true  paradise,  but  of  God’s  planting;  the  light  of 
our  own  fires,  and  the  sparks  of  our  OAvn  kindling, 
will  soon  leave  us  in  the  dark,.  Isa.  50.  11.  The 
whole  earth  Avas  now  a paradise,  compared  with 
Avhat  it  is  since  the  fall,  and  since  the  flood;  the 
finest  gardens  in  the  world  are  a Avilderness,  com- 
pared Avith  what  the  whole  face  of  the  ground  Avas 
before  it  was  cursed  for  man’s  sake:  yet  that  Avas 
not  enough;  God  planted  a garden  for  Adam.  God’s 
chosen  ones  shall  have  distinguishing  favours  shoAV- 
ed  them. 

' 3.  The  situation  of  this  garden  Avas  extremely 
sweet;  it  was  Eden,  winch  signifies  delight  and 
fileasure.  The  place  is  here  particularly  pointed 
out  by  such  marks  and  bounds  as  Avere  sufficient,  (I 
suppose,)  when  Moses  wrote,  to  specify  the  place 
to  those  Avho  knew  that  country;  but  noAv,  it  seems, 
the  curious  cannot  satisfy  themselves  concerning  it. 
Let  it  be  our  care  to  make  sure  a place  in  the  hea- 
venly paradise,  and  then  Ave  need  not  perplex  our- 
selves with  a search  after  the  place  of  the  earthly 
paradise.  It  is  certain,  wherever  it  Avas,  it  had  all 
desirable  conveniences,  and  (which  never  any  house 
or  garden  on  earth  was)  Avithout  any  inconvenience; 
beautiful  for  situation,  the  joy  and  glory  of  the  whole 
earth  was  this  garden : doubtless,  it  Avas  earth  in  its 
highest  perfection. 

- 4.  The  trees  with  which  this  garden  was  planted. 
(1.)  It  had  all  the  best  and  choicest  trees  in  com- 
mon Avith  the  rest  of  the  ground.  It  Avas  beautified 
and  adorned  with  every  tree  that,  for  its  height  or 
breadth,  its  make  or  colour,  its  leaf  or  flower,  Avas 
pleasant  to  the  sight,  and  charmed  the  eye;  it  was 
replenished  and  enriched  with  even'  tree  that  yield- 
ed fruit  gi-ateful  to  the  taste,  and  useful  to  the  body, 
and  so,  good  for  food.  God,  as  a tender  Father, 
consulted  not  only  Adam’s  profit,  but  his  pleasure; 
for  there  is  a pleasure  consistent  Avith  innocency, 
nay,  there  is  a troe  and  transcendent  pleasure  in  in- 
nocency. God  deligTits  in  the  prosperity  of  his  ser- 
vants, and  Avould  have  them  easy;  it  is  owing  to 
themselves,  if  they  be  uneasy.  When  Providence 
puts  us  into  an  Eden  of  plenty  and  pleasure,  Ave 
ought  to  serve  him  iinth  joy  fulness  and  gladness  of 
heart,  in  the  aliundance  of  the  good  things  he  gives 
us.  But,  (2. ) It  had  two  extraordinary  trees  pecu- 
liar to  itself;  on  earth  there  Avere  not  their  like.  [1.] 
There  Avas  the  tree  of  life  in  the  midst  of  the  garden, 
Avhich  Avas  not  so  much  a memorandum  to  him  of 
the  Founbuin  and  Author  of  his  life,  nor  nerhaps 
any  natural  means  to  preserve  or  prolong  life;  but 
it  was  chiefly  intended  to  be  a sign  and  seal  to  Adam, 


GENESIS,  11. 


(isbiiring  him  of  the  continuance  of  life  and  hapj^i-  ' 
nesj,  even  to  immortality  and  everlasting  bliss, 
TTii-ough  the  grace  and  favour  of  his  Maker,  upon 
condition  of  his  perseverance  in  this  state  of  inno-  i 
ceiicy  and  obedience.  Of  this  he  might  eat  and 
li\  e.  Chnst  is  now  to  us  the  Tree  of  hfe^Rev.  2. 
7. — 22.  2,~and’the  Hread'  of  Uft,  John ' 5.  48.  53. 
[2.]  There  was  the  Tree  of the  knowledge  of  good  ’ 
and  evil,  sq  called,  not  because  it  had  any  virtue  in 
it  to  beget  or  increase  useful  knowledge,  surely  then 
it  would  not  have  been  forbidden;  but,  dirst.  Be- 
cause there  was  an  express  positive  res  elation  of  | 
the  will  cf  God  concerning  tliis  tree,  so  that  by  it  he  ' 
might  know  moral  good  and  evil.  What  is  good.^  ■ 
h IS  good  not  to  eat  of  this  tree.  What  is  evil.^  It  . 
is  evil  to  eat  of  this  tree.  The  distinctiim  between  ! 
all  other  moral  good 'and  evil  was  written  in  the  i 
heart  of  man  by  nature;  but  this  which  resulted 
from  a positive  law,  was  written  upon  this  tree. 
Secondly,  Because,  in  the  event,  it  proved  to  give 
Adam  an  experimental  knowledge  cf  good  by  the 
loss  of  it,  and  of  evil  by  the  sense  of  it.  As  the 
covenant  of  grace  has  in  it,  not  only.  Believe  and  be 
saved,  but  also.  Believe  not,  and  be  damned,  Mark 
16.  16,  s 1 the  covenant  of  innocency  had  in  it,  not 
only  “Do  this  and  live,”  which  was  sealed  and 
conlirmed  by  the  tree  of  life,  but,  “Fail  and  die,” 
which  man  was  assured  cf  by  this  other  tree; 
“Touch  it  at  yourperil:”  so  that,  in  these  two  trees, 
Ciod  setbef  ire  Adam  good  and  evil,  the  blessing  and 
the  curse,  Deut.  SO.  19.  I'hese  two  trees  were  as 
two  sacraments. 

5.  The  rivers  with  which  this  garden  was  water- 
ed, V.  10.  . . 14.  These  fmir  rivers  (or  one  river 
branched  into  four  streams^  contributed  much  both 
to  the  jdeasantness  and  the  fruitfulness  of  tills  gar- 
de:i.  The  land  of  SoHcm  li'saicT  to  be  well-watered 
exu-ry  xvhere  as  the  garden  of  the  Lord,  ch.  13.  10. 
Observe,  That  which  God  plants,  he  will  take  care  to 
keep  watered.  The  trees  of  righteousness  are  set  by 
the  rivers,  Ps.  1.  3.  In  the  heavenly  paradise  there 
is  a rii  er  infinitely  surpassing  these;  for  it  is  a river  i 
of  the  water  of  life,  not  coming  out  of  Eden,  as  this,  j 
but  proceeding  out  cf  the  throne  cf  God,  and  of  the  j 
Lamb,  Rev.  22.  1.  a river  that  makes  glad  the  city  < 
of  our  God,  Ps.  46.  4.  Hiddekel  and  Euphrates 
are  rivers  of  Babylon,  which  we  read  of  elsewhere;  | 
by  these  the  captive  Jew's  sat  down  and  weft,  when 
they  remembered  Zion,  Ps.  137.  1.  but  methinks 
they  had  much  more  reason  to  w'ecp,  (and  so  have 
we,)  at  the  remembrance  of  Eden;  Adam’s  paradise 
V was  their  prison;  such  w'retchell  work  has  sin  made. 
Of  the  larfd  of  Havilah,  it  is  said,  v.  11,  12,  that  the 
(^old  of  that  land  was  good,  and  that  there  was  bdel- 
lium, and  the  onyje-stone:  surely  this  is  mentioned, 
that  the  wealth  which  the  land  or  Havilah  boasted  of, 
might  be  as  a foil  to  that  which  was  the  glory  of  the 
land  of  Eden.  Havilah  had  gold,  and  spices,  and 
precious  stones;  but  Eden  had  that  which  was  in-  I 
finitely  better,  the  tree  of  life,  and  communion  with  | 
God.  So  we  may  say  of  the  Africans  and  Indians; 
“I'hey  have  the  gold,  but  we  have  the  gospel, 
"^['he  gold  of  their  land  is  good,  but  the  riches  of 
our’s  arc  infinitely  better.” 

II.  The  placing  of  man  in  this  paradise  of  delight, 

15,  where  observe, 

1.  How  God  put  him  in  possession  of  it.  The 
Lord  God  took  the  xnan  and'  fut  him  into  the  gar-  : 
den  of  Eden;  so  x<.  8,  15.  Note  here,  (1.)  That  ; 
man  was  made  out  of  paradise;  for,  after  God  had 
formed  him,  he  put  him  into  the  garden:  he  was  ' 
rnade  of  common  clay,  not  of  paradise-dust.  Pie  1 
lived  out  oTEiden  beTcre  he  IK'cd  in  it,  that  he  might 
see  that  all  the  comforts  of  his  paradise-state  were  ' 
owing  to  God’s  free  grace.  He  could  not  plead  a i 
tenant  righ.t  to  the  garden,  for  he  was  not  bom  upon  I 

VoL.  I. — E 


the  premises,  nor  had  any  thing  but  what  he  receiv 
ed;  all  boasting  was  hereby  for  ever  excluded.  (2. ) 
I'he  same  God  that  was  the  Author  of  his  being, 
was  the  Author  of  Ihslj^'s:  the  same  hand  that 
made  him  a living  soul,  planted  the  tree  of  life  fi-r 
him,  and  settled  him  by  it;  he  that  made  us,  is  alcne 
able  tom  ke  us  happy;  he  that  is  the  Former  cf 
our  bodies,  imd  the  P alher  cf  cur  spirits;  he,  ami 
none  but  he,  can  eficctually  provide  tor  the  felicity 
of  bi  th.  (3.)  It  adds  nuich  to  the  comfort  of  any 
conditicn,  it  we  have  plainly  seen  Gcd  going  before 
us,  and  putting  us  into  it.  If  we  have  net  forced 
proviclence,  but  followed  it,  and  taken  the  hints  of 
direction  it  has  given  us,  we  may  hope  to  find  a pa- 
radise there,  where  c therwise  we  could  not  have 
expected  it;  see  Ps.  47.  4. 

2.  How  God  appointed  him  business  and  employ- 
ment; he  put  him  there,  not  like  Leviathan  into  the 
waters,  to  play  therein,  but  to  dress  the  garden,  and 
to  keep  it.  Pju-adise  itself  was  net  a place  of  ex- 
emption from  work.  Note  here,  (1.)  That  we 
weTCTTone  of  us  senrinto  the  world  to  be  idle.  He 
that  made  us  these  souls  and  bodies,  has  given  us 
something  to  work  with;  and  he  that  gave  us  this 
earth  for  our  habitation,  has  made  us  something  to 
w’ork  on.  If  either  a high  extraction,  or  a great 
estate,  cr  a large  dominion,  or  perfect  innocency,  or 
a genius  for  pure  contemplaticn,  or  a small  familv, 
could  have  given  a man  a w'rit  of  ease,  Adam  had 
not  been  set  to  work;  but  he  that  gave  us  being,  has 
given  us  business,  to  serv  e him  and  our  generation, 
and  to  work  out  our  salvation;  if  we  do  not  mind 


/ 


our  business,  we  are^  unworthy  of  our  being  and 
maintenance.  (2.)  1 hat  secular  employments  will 
very  well  consist  with  a state  cf  innocency,  and  a 
life  of  communion  wdth  God.  The  sons  and  heirs 
of  heaven,  while  they  are  here  in  this  world,  have 
something  to  do  about  this  earth,  which  must  have 
its  share  of  their  time  and  thcuglits;  and  if  they  do 
it  with  an  eye  to  God,  they  are  as  truly  serving  him 
in  it,  as  when  they  are  upon  their  knee’s.  (3. ) "That 
the  husbandman’s  calling  is  an  ancient  and  honour- 
able calling;  it  was  needful  even  in  paradise.  The 
garden  cf  Eden,  thrugh  it  needed  not  to  be  weeded, 

(for  thorns  and  thistles  were  net  yet  a nuisance,)  yet 
it  must  be  dressed  and  kept.  Nature,  even  in  its  \yZ 
pilmitiye  state,  left  room  for  the  improvements  of 
mt  and  incTurtry.  It  w'as  a galling  fit  for  a state  of 
innocency,  making  a proviSon  for  life,  and  not  for 
lust;  and  giving  nnm  an  opportunity  of  admiring  the 
Creator,  and  acknowledging  his  providence;  while 
his  hands  were  about  his  trees,  his  heart  might  be 
with  h;s  God.  (4.)  T.  here  is  a true  pleasure  in  the 
busincp  which  Gcd  calls  us  to,  and  em])loys  us  in; 
Adam’s  work  was  so  far  from  being  an  allay,  that  it 
was  an  addition,  to  the  j)leasures  of  paradise;  he 
could  not  have  been  hapjiy,  if  he  had  iDee'h  idle:  it 
is  still  a law.  He  that  will'not  work,  has  no  rieht  to 
eat,  2 I'hess.  3.  10.  Prov.  27.  23. 


III.  The  command  which  Gcd  gave  to  man  in 
innocency,  and  the  covenant  he  then  took  him  into. 
Hitherto,  we  have  seen  God,  man’s  powerful  Crea- 
tor, and  his  bountiful  Benefactor;  now  he  appears 
as  his  Ruler  and  Lawgiver.  God  put  him  into  the 
garden  of  Eden,  not  to  live  there  as  he  might  list, 
but  to  be  under  government.  As  we  are  not  al- 
lowed to  be  idle  in  this  world,  and  to  do  nothing,  so 
we  are  not  allowed  to  be  wilful,  and  do  what  we 
please.  M'hcn  God  had  given  man  a dominion  ovei 
the  creatures,  he  would  let  him  know  that  still  he 
himself  was  under  the  government  of  his  Creator. 


16.  And  the  Lord  God  commanded  die 
man,  saying,  Of  eveiy  tiee  of  die  garden 
thou  mayest  freely  eat."^  1 7.  But  of  the  tree 
of  the  knowledge  of  good  and  evil,  thou 


GENESIS,  IL 


iA 

shalt  not  eat  of  it:  for  in  the  clay  that  thou 
eatest  thereof,  thou  shalt  surely  die. 

Observe  here, 

I.  God’s  authority  over  man,  as  a creature  that 
had  reason  and  freedom  of  will.  The  Lord  God 
commanded  the  man,  who  stood  now  as  a public 
person,  the  father  and  representative  of  all  mankind, 
to  receive  law,  as  he  had  lately  received  a nature, 
for  himself,  and  all  his.  God  commanded  all  the 
creatures,  according  to  their  capacity;  the  settled 
course  of  nature  is  a law,  Ps.  148.  6. — 104.  9.  The 
brute-creatures  have  their  respective  instincts;  but 
man  was  made  capable  of  performing  reasonable 
service,  and  therefore  receives,  not  only  the  com- 
nand  of  a Creator,  but  the  command  of  a Pnnce 
and  Master.  I'hough  Adam  was  a very  great  man, 
a very  good  man,  and  a veiy  happy  man,  yet  the 
Lord  God  commanded  him;  and  the  command  was 
no  disparagement  to  his  greatness,  no  reproach  to 
his  goodness,  nor  any  diminution  at  all  to  his  happi- 
ness. Let  us  acknowledge  God’s  right  to  rule  us, 
and  our  own  obligations  to  be  lailed  by  him ; and 
never  allow  any  will  of  our  own,  in  contradiction  to, 
or  competition  with,  the  holy  will  of  God. 

II.  The  particular  act  of  this  authority,  in  pre- 
scribing to  him  what  he  should  do,  and  upon  what 
terms  he  should  stand  with  his  Creator.  Here  is, 

1.  A confirmation  of  his  present  happiness  to 
him^  in  that  grant.  Of  every  tree  in  the  garden  thou 
mayest  freely  eat.  This  was  not  only  an  alloAvance 
of  liberty  to  him,  in  taking  the  delicious  fruits  of 
paradise,  as  a recompense  for  his  care  and  pains  in 
dressing  and  keeping  it,  (1  Cor.  9.  7,  10.)  but  it 
was,  withal,  an  assurance  of  life  to  him,  immortal 
life,  upon  his  obedience.  For  the  tree  of  life  being 
put  in  the  midst  of  the  garden,  v.  9,  as  the  heart  and 
soul  of  it,  doubtless,  God  had  an  eye  to  that,  espe- 
cially in  this  grant;  and  therefore,  when,  upon  his 
revolt,  this  grant  is  recalled,  no  notice  is  taken  of 
any  tree  of  the  garden  as  prohibited  to  him,  except 
the  tree  of  life,  ch.  3.  22,  of  which  it  is  there  said, 
he  might  have  eaten  and  lived  for  ever,  that  is, 
never  died,  nor  ever  lost  his  h^piness.  “Con- 
tinue holy  as  thou  art,  in  conformity  to  thy  Crea- 
tor’s will,  and  thou  shalt  continue  happy  as  thou 
art,  in  the  enjoyment  of  thy  Creator’sTavour,  either 
in  this  paradise,  or  in  a better.  ” Thus,  upon  con- 
dition of  perfect  personal  and  perpetual  obedience, 
Adam  was  sure  of  paradise  to  himself  and  his  heirs 
for  ever. 

2.  A trial  of  his  obedience,  upon  pain  of  the  for- 
feiture of  all  his  happiness;  but  of  the  otlier  tree, 
which  stood  very  near  the  tree  of  life,  (for  they 
are  both  said  to  be  in  the  midst  of  the  garden and 
which  was  called  the  tree  of  knowledge,  in  the  day 
that  thou  eatest  thereof,  thou  shalt  surely  die;  as  if 
he  had  said,  “Know,  Adam,  that  thou  art  now  u])cn 
thy  good  behaviour,  thou  art  put  into  paradise  upon 
trial;  be  observant,  be  obedient,  and  thou  art  made 
for  ever;  otherwise  thou  wilt  be  as  miserable,  as 
now  thou  art  happy.”  Here,  (1.)  Adam  is  threat- 
ened with  death,  in  case  of  disobedience;  dying  thou 
shalt  die,  denoting  a sure  and  dreadful  sentence,  as, 
in  the  former  part  of  this  covenant,  eating  thou  shalt 
eat,  denotes  a free  and  full  grant.  Observe,  [1.] 
That  even  Adam,  in  innocencv,  was  awed  with  a 
threatening;  fear  is  one  of  the  handles  of  the  soul, 
by  which  it  is  taken  hold  of  and  held.  If  he  then 
needed  this  hedge,  much  more  do  we  now.  [2.] 
The  penalty  threatened,  is  death.  Thou  shalt  die, 
that  is,  “Thou  shalt  be  debarred  from  the  tree  of 
life,  and  all  the  good  that  is  signified  bv  it,  all  the 
happiness  thou  hast,  either  in  possession  or  pros- 
pect; and  thou  shalt  become  liable  to  death,  and  all 
the  miseries  that  preface  it  and  attend  it.”  [3.] 
I’his  was  threatened  as  the  immediate  consequence 


of  sin.  In  the  day  thou  eatest,  thou  shalt  die,  that  is, 
“Thou  shalt  become  mortal  and  capable  of  dying, 
the  grant  of  immortality  shall  be  recalled,  and  that 
defence  shall  depart  from  thee.  Thou  shalt  be 
come  obnoxious  to  death,  like  a condemned  male 
factor  that  is  dead  in  law ;”  (only  because  Adam 
wa^to  be  the  root  of  mankind,  he  was  reprieved;) 
“nay,  the  harbingers  and  forerunners  of  death  shall 
immediately  seize  thee,  and  thy  life,  henceforward, 
shall  be  a dying  life;”  and  this  surely;  it  is  a settled 
rule,  the  soul  that  sinneth,  it  shall  die.  (2.)  Adam 
is  tried  with  a positive  law,  not  to  eat  of  the  fruit  of 
the  tree  of  knoirledge.  Now  it  was  very  proper  to- 
make  trial  of  his  obedience  by  such  a command  as 
this,  [1.]  Because  the  reason  of  it  is  fetched  purely 
from  the  will  of  the  Law-maker.  Adam  hacl  in  Ins 
nature  an  aversion  to  that  which  was  evil  in  ilsell, 
and  therefore  he  is  tried  in  a thing  Avhich  was  evil, 
only  because  it  was  forbidden;  and  being  in  a small 
thing,  it  was  the  more  fit  to  prove  his  obedience  b> 
[2.]  Because  the  restraint  of  it  is  laid  upon  tlie  de- 
sires of  the  flesh  and  of  the  mind,  which,  in  the  cor 
nipt  nature  of  man,  are  the  two  great  fountains  of 
sin.  This  prohibition  checked  both  his  appetite 
towards  sensitive  delights  and  his  ambition  of  curi- 
ous knowledge;  that  his  body  might  be  ruled  by  his 
soul,  and  his  soul  by  his  God. 

Thus  easy,  thus  happy,  jwas  man  in  his  state  of 
innocency,  having  all  that  heart  could  wish  to  make 
him  so.  How  good  was  God  to  him  ! How  mdiy 
favours  did  he  load  him  with  ! How  easy  were 
the  laws  he  gave  him ! Hoiv  kind  the  covenant  he 
made  with  him ! Yet  man,  being  in  honour,  under- 
stood not  his  own  interest,  but  soon  became  as  the 
beast  that  perish. 

1 8.  And  the  Lord  God  said,  It  is  not  good 
that  the  man  should  be  alone  ; I will  make 
him  an  help  meet  for  him.  1 9.  And  out  of 
the  ground  the  I..ord  God  formed  every 
beast  of  the  field,  and  every  fowl  of  the  air, 
and  brought  them  unto  Adam  to  see  what 
he  would  call  them  : and  whatsoever  Adam 
called  evei7  living  creature,  that  teas  the 
name  thereof.  20.  And  Adam  gave  names 
to  all  cattle,  and  to  the  fowl  of  the  air,  and  to 
every  beast  of  the  field ; but  for  Adam  there 
was  not  found  an  help  meet  for  him. 

Here  we  have, 

1.  An  instance  of  the  Creator’s  care  of  man,  and 
his  fatherly  concern  for  his  comfort,  X'.  18.  Though 
God  had  let  him  know  that  he  was  a subject,  by 
giving  him  a command,  v.  16,  17,  yet  here  he  lets 
him  know  also,  for  his  encouragement  in  his  obedi- 
ence, that  he  was  a friend,  and  a favourite,  and  one 
whose  satisfaction  he  was  tender  of.  Observe, 

1.  How  God  graciously  pitied  his  solitude  ; It  is 
not  good  that  man,  this  man,  should  be  alone. 
Though  there  was  an  upper  world  of  angels,  and 
a lower  world  of  bnites,  and  he  between  them,  yet 
there  being  none  of  the  same  nature  and  I'ank  of 
beings  with  himself,  none  that  he  could  converse 
familiarly  with,  he  might  be  tinily  said  to  be  alone. 
Now  he  that  made  him,  knew  both  him,  and  what 
was  good  for  him,  better  than  he  did  himself,  and 
he  said,  “ It  is  not  good  that  he  should  continue  thus 
alone.”  (1.)  It  is  not  for  his  comfort  ; for  man  is  a 
sociable  creature,  it  is  a pleasure  to  him  to  exchange 
knowledge  and  afl'ection  with  those  of  his  own  kind, 
to  inform  and  to  be  informed,  to  love  and  to  be  belov- 
ed. What  God  here  says  of  the  first  man,  Solo- 
mon says  of  all  men,  (Eccl.  4.  9,  &c. ) that  two  are 
better  than  one,  and  woe  to  him  that  is  alone.  If 
there  were  but  one  man  in  the  world,  what  a melon 


35 


GENESIS,  11. 


choly  man  must  he  needs  bd  Perfect  solitude  would 
turn  a paradise  into  a desert,  and  a palace  into  a 
dungeon.  Those  therefore  are  foolish  who  are  sel- 
hsh,  and  would  be  placed  alone  in  the  earth.  (2. ) 
It  is  not  for  the  increiise  and  continu  nee  of  his 
kind;  God  could  have  made  a world  of  men,  at 
first,  to  replenish  the  earth,  as  he  replenished  hea- 
ven with  a world  of  angeLs:  but  the  place  would 
have  been  too  straight  for  the  designed  number  of 
men  to  live  together  at  once;  therefore  (iod  saw  it 
fit  to  make  up  that  number  bv  a succession  of  ge- 
nerations, which,  as  God  had  formed  man,  must  be 
from  two,  and  those  male  and  female;  one  will  be 
ever  one. 

2.  How  God  graciously  resolved  to  provide  s'  cie- 
ty  for  him.  The  result  of  this  reasoning  c-.-nceru- 
ing  him,  was,  this  kind  resolution,  / tjUI  make  a 
helfi  meet  for  him-,  a help him,  (so  some  read 
it,)  one  of  the  same  nature,  and  the  same  rank  of 
beings;  a help  near  him,  (so  others,)  one  to  cohabit 
with  him,  and  to  be  always  at  hand;  a help  before 
him,  (so  others,)  one  that  he  should  look  upon  with 
pleasure  and  delight.  Note  hence,  (1.)  That  in 
our  best  state  in  this  world,  we  have  need  of  one  an- 
other’s help;  for  we  are  members  one  of  another, 
and  the  eye  cannot  say  to  the  hand,  I have  no  need 
of  thee,  1 Cor.  12.  21.  We  must  therefore  be 
glad  to  receive  help  from  others,  and  give  help  to 
others,  as  there  is  occasion.  (2.)  That  it  is  God 
only  who  perfectly  knows  our  wants,  and  is  per- 
fectly able  to  supply  them  all,  Phil.  4.  19.  In  him 
alone  our  help  is,  and  from  him  are  all  our  helpers. 
3.)  That  a suitable  wife  is  a help  meet,  and  is 
rom  the  Lord.  The  relation  is  then  likely  to  be 
comfortable,  when  meetness  directs  and  determines 
tlie  choice,  and  mutual  helpfulness  is  the  constant  care 
and  endeavour,  1 Cor.  7.  33,  34.  (4.)  That  family 

society,  if  that  is  agreeable,  is  a redress  sufficient 
for  the  grievance  of  solitude.  He  that  has  a good 
God,  a good  heart,  and  a good  wife,  to  converse 
with,  and  yet  complains  he  wants  conversation, 
would  not  have  been  easy  and  content  in  paradise; 
for  Adam  himself  had  no  more:  yet  even  before 
Eve  was  created,  we  do  not  find  that  he  complain- 
ed of  being  alone,  knowing  that  he  was  not  alone, 
for  the  Father  was  with  him.  Those  that  are  most 
satisfied  in  God  and  his  favour,  are  in  the  best  way, 
and  in  the  best  frame,  to  receive  the  good  things  of 
this  life,  and  shall  be  sure  of  them,  as  far  as  Infinite 
Wisdom  sees  good. 

II.  An  instance  of  the  creatures’  subjection  to 
man,  and  his  dominion  over  them, -v.  19,  20.  Every 
beast  of  the  field,  and  every  fowl  of  the  air,  God 
brougnt  to  Adam;  either  by  the  ministry  of  angels, 
or  by  a special  instinct,  directing  them  to  come  to 
man  as  their  master,  teaching  the  ox  betimes  to 
know  his  owner.  Thus  God  gave  man  li\  ery  and 
seisin  of  the  fair  estate  he  had  granted  him,  and  put 
him  in  possession  of  his  dominion  over  the  crea- 
tures. God  brought  them  to  him,  that  he  might 
name  them,  and  so  might  give,  1.  A proof  of  his 
knowledge,  as  a creature  endued  with  the  faculties 
both  of  reason  and  speech,  and  so,  taught  more  | 
than  the  beasts  of  the  earth,  and  made  wiser  than  the  \ 
fowls  of  heaven.  Job.  35.  11.  And  2.  A proof  of  his 
power.  It  is  an  act  of  authority  to  impose  names, 
H)an.  1.  7.)  and  of  subjection  to  receive  them. 
The  inferior  creatures  did  now,  as  it  were,  do  ho- 
mage to  their  prince  at  his  inauguration,  and  swear 
fealty  and  allegiance  to  him.  If  Adam  had  conti- 
nued faithful  to  his  God,  we  may  suppose  the  crea- 
tures themselves  would  so  well  have  kno^vn  and 
remembered  the  names  Adam  now  gave  them,  as 
to  have  come  at  his  call,  at  any  time,  and  answered 
to  their  names.  God  gave  names  to  the  day  and 
night,  to  the  firmament,  to  the  earth,  and  sea;  and 
he  calleth  the  stars  by  their  names,  to  show  that  he 


is  the  supreme  Loixl  of  these;  but  he  gave  Adam 
leave  to  name  the  beasts  and  fowls,  as  their  subordi- 
nate lord;  for,  ha\ing  made  him  in  his  own  image, 
he  thus  puts  some  of  his  honour  upon  him. 

III.  An  instance  of  the  creatures’  insufficiency  to 
be  a happiness  for  man:  but  among  them  all,  for 
Adam  there  was  not  found  a help  meet  for  him. 

I Some  make  these  to  be  the  words  of  Adam  him- 
j self;  observing  all  the  creatures  come  to  him  by 
I couples  to  be  named,  he  thus  intimates  his  desire 
\ to  his  Maker.  “Lord,  these  h.ave  all  helps  meet 
I icr  them;  but  what  shall  I do.^  Never,  never  a one, 
for  me.”  It  is  rather  God’s  judgment  upon  the  re 
I % iew.  He  l)rought  them  all  together,  to  see  if  there 
j were  ever  a suitable  match  for  Adam  in  any  of  the 
‘ numerous  families  of  the  inferior  creatures;  but 
there  was  none.  Observe  here,  1.  The  dignity  and 
I excellency  of  the  human  nature;  on  earth  there  was 
I not  its  like,  nor  its  peer  to  be  found  among  all  visi- 
I ble  creatui-es;  they  were  all  looked  over,  but  it 
! could  not  be  matched  among  them  all.  2.  The  va- 
I nity  of  this  world  and  the  things  of  it;  put  them  all 
1 together,  and  they  will  not  make  an  help  meet  for 
man.  They  will  not  suit  the  nature  of  the  soul,  nor 
supply  its  needs,  nor  satisfy  its  just  desires,  nor  run 
parallel  with  its  never-failing  duration.  God  cre- 
ates a new  thing  to  be  an  help  meet  for  man — not  so 
much  tlie  woman,  as  the  Seed  of  the  woman. 

21.  And  tWe  Lord  God  caused  a deep 
sleep  to  fall  upon  Adam,  and  he  slept:  and 
he  took  one  of  his  ribs,  and  closed  up  the 
1 flesh  instead  thereof.  22.  And  the  rib 
which  the  Lord  God  had  taken  from  man, 
made  he  a woman,  and  brought  her  unto  the 
man.  23.  And  Adam  said.  This  is  now 
i bone  of  my  bones,  and  flesh  of  my  flesh  : 
she  shall  be  called  Woman,  because  she 
was  taken  out  of  Man.  24.  Therefore 
I shall  a man  leave  his  father  and  his  mother, 

I and  shall  cleave  unto  his  wife : and  they 
shall  be  one  flesh.  25.  And  they  were  both 
naked,  the  man  and  his  wife,  and  were  not 
ashamed. 

Here  w e have, 

I.  The  making  of  the  woman,  to  be  an  help  meet 
for  Adam.  This  was  done  upon  the  sixth  day,  as 
was  also  the  placing  of  Adam  in  Paradise,  though 
it  is  here  mentioned  after  an  account  of  the  seventh 
day’s  rest;  but  what  was  said  in  general,  {ch.  1.  27.) 
that  God  made  man  male  and  female,  is  more  dis- 
tinctlv  related  here.  Obseiwe, 

1.  That  Adam  was  first  formed,  then  Eve,  (1  Tim. 
2.  13.)  and  she  was  made  of  the  man,  and  for  the 
man,  (1  Cor.  11.  8,  9. ) all  which  are  urged  there  as 
reasons  for  the  humility,  modesty,  silence,  and  sub- 
missiveness, cf  that  sex  in  general,  and  particularly 
the  subjection  and  reverence  which  wives  owe  to 
their  own  husbands.  Yet  man  being  made  last  of  the 
creatures,  as  the  best  and  most  excellent  of  all. 
Eve’s  being  made  after  Adam,  and  out  of  him,  puts 
an  honour  upon  that  sex,  as  the  glory  of  the  man, 

1 Cor.  11.7.  If  man  is  the  head,  she  is  the  crown;  a 
crown  to  her  husband,  the  crown  of  the  visible  crea- 
tion. The  man  was  dust  refined,  but  the  woman 
was  dust  double-refined,  one  remove  further  from 
the  earth. 

2.  That  Adam  slept  while  his  wife  W'as  mak’ng, 
that  no  room  might  be  left  to  imagine  that  he  had 

directed  the  spirit  of  the  Lord,  orbeenhiacoun- 
sellor,  Isa.  40.  13.  He  had  been  made  sensible  of  his 
want  of  a help  meet;  but  God  having  undertaken 
to  provide  him  one,  he  does  not  afflict  himself  with 


36 


GENESIS,  III. 


any  care  about  it,  but  lies  down  and  sleeps  sweetiy, 
as  one  that  had  cast  all  his  care  on  (lod,  witii  a 
cheei’ful  resignation  of  himself  and  all  his  alhiirs,  to 
nis  Maker’s  will  and  wisdom;  Jehorah-jireh,  let  the 
Lord  provide  when  and  whom  he  pleases.  Ir  wc 
graciously  rest  in  God,  God  will  graciously  work 
for  us,  and  work  all  for  good. 

3.  'Fhat  God  caused  a slee/i  to  fall  on  yldani,  and 
made  it  a deep  sleep,  that  so  the  opening  of  his  side 
might  be  no  grievance  to  him;  while  he  knows  no 
sin,  God  will  take  care  he  shall  feel  no  pain.  W'hen 
God,  by  his  providence,  docs  that  to  his  people, 
which  is  grievous  to  flesh  and  blood,  he  not  only 
consults  their  happiness  in  the  issue,  but,  by  his 
grace,  he  can  so  quiet  and  compose  their  spirits,  as 
to  make  them  easy  under  the  sharpest  operations. 

4.  That  the  woman  was  made  oj  a rib  out  of  fie 
side  of  Mam;  not  made  out  of  his  head  to  top  him, 
not  out  of  his  feet  to  be  trampled  upon  by  hini,  but 
out  of  his  side  to  be  equal  with  him,  under  his  arm 
to  be  protected,  and  near  his  heart  to  be  beloved. 
Adam  lost  a rib,  and  without  any  diminution  to  his 
strength  or  comeliness;  for  doubtless,  the  flesh  was 
closed  without  a scar,  but,  in  lieu  thereof,  he  had  a 
help  meet  for  him,  which  abundantly  made  up  his 
loss:  what  God  takes  av/ayfr om  his  pe^'ple,  he  will, 
one  way  or  other,  restore  with  a.dvant'age.  In  this, 
(as  in  many  other  things,)  Adam  was  a figure  of  him 
that  was  to  come;  for  out  of  the  side  of  Christ  the 
second  Adam,  his  spouse  the  church  was  formed, 
when  he  slept  the  sleep,  the  deep  sleep,  of  death 
upon  the  cross;  in  order  to  which,  his  side  was  open- 
ed, and  there  came  out  blood  and  water,  blood  to 
purchase  his  church,  and  water  to  purify  it  to  him- 
self. See  Eph.  5.  25,  26. 

II.  The  marriage  of  the  woman  to  Adam.  Mar- 
riage is  honourable,  but  this  surely  was  the  most 
honourable  marriage  that  ever  was,  in  which  God 
himself  had  all  along  an  immediate  hand.  Mar- 
riages (they  say)  are  made  in  Heaven:  we  are  sure 
this  was;  for  the  man,  the  woman,  the  match,  were 
all  God’s  own  work:  he,  by  his  power,  made  them 
both,  and  now,  by  his  ordinance,  made  them  one. 
This  was  a marriage  made  in  perfect  innocency, 
and  so  was  never  any  marriage  since. 

1.  God,  as  her  Father,  brought  the  woman  to  the 
man,  as  his  second  self,  and  an  help  meet  for  him; 
when  he  had  made  her,  he  did  not  leave  her  to  her 
own  disposal ; no,  she  was  his  child,  and  she  must 
not  marry  without  his  consent.  I hose  are  likely  to 
settle  to  their  comfort,  who,  by  taith  and  prayer, 
and  a humble  dependence  upon  Providence,  ])ut 
themselves  under  a divine  conduct.  1 hat  wife  that 
is  of  God’s  making  by  special  grace,  and  of  God’s 
bringing  by  special  providence,  is  likely  to  prove  a 
help  meet  for  a man. 

2.  From  God,  as  hji  Fiyther,  Adam  received  her, 

u.  23.  “ This  is  nojv  bone  of  my  bone;  Now  I have 

what  I wanted,  and  which  all  the  creatures  could 
not  furnish  me  with,  an  help  meet  for  me.”  God’s 
gifts  to  us  are  to  be  received  with  a humble  and 
thankfid  acknowledgment  of  his  wisdom  in  suiting 
them  to  us,  and  his  favour  in  bestowing  them  on  us. 
Probably,  it  was  revealed  to  Adam  in  a vision,  when 
he  was  asleep,  that  this  lovely  creature,  now  pre- 
sented to  him,  was  a piece  of  himself,  and  was  to  be 
his  companion,  and  the  wife  of  his  covenant.  Hence 
some  have  fetched  an  argument  to  prove  that  glori- 
fied saints  in  the  heavenly  paradise  shall  know  one 
another.  Further,  in  token  of  his  acceptance  of 
her,  he  gave  her  a name,  not  ])ccuiiar  to  her,  but 
common  to  her  sex;  she  shall  be  called  woman, 
Isha,  a she-man,  differing  from  man  in  sex  only, 
not  in  nature;  made  of  man,  and  joined  to  man.  j 

III.  The  institution  of  the  ordinance  of  marriage,  i 
and  the  settling  of  the  law  of  it,  v.  24.  The  salj-  | 
bath  and  marriage  were  two  ordinances  insftuted 


!|  in  innocency;  the  former  for  the  preservation  ol  tlie 
j church,  the  latter,  for  the  preservation  of  the  wni  Id 
! of  in  mkind.  It  appears  I)y  Matth.  19.  4,  5,  thai  it 
j was  God  himself  who  said  here,  “ A man  must  leave 
all  his  relations,  to  cleave  to  his  wife;”  but  whetl\er 
he  .spake  it  by  Moses,  the  penman,  or  by  Adam, 
who  spake,  v.  23.  is  uncertain;  it  should  seem,  tliey 
I are  the  words  of  Adam,  in  God’s  name,  laying 
I down  this  law  to  all  his  posterity.  1.  See  here  how' 

' great  the  vn-tuc  cf  a divine  ordinance  is;  the  bonds 
. of  il  ire  stronger  e\  en  than  those  of  nature.  To 
I whom  can  we  be  more  firmly  bound  than  to  the 
fruthei’s  that  begat  us,  and  the  mothers  that  bare  us  I 
Yet  the  son  must  quit  them,  to  be  jolnefT  tb  his  wife, 
and  the  daughter  forget  them,  to  cleave  to  her  hus- 
band, Ps.  45.  10,  11.  2.  See  how  necessary  it  is 

that  children  should  take  their  parents’  consent 
along  with  them  in  their  marriage;  and  how  un- 
just they  are  to  their  parents,  as  well  asundutiful,  il 
they  marry  without  it;  for  they  rob  them  of  thei»‘ 
right  to  them,  and  interest  in  them,  and  alienate  it 
to  another,  fraudulently  and  unnaturally.  3.  See 
what  need  there  is  both  of  prudence  and  prayer  in 
the  choice  of  this  relation,  which  is  so  near  and  so 
lasting.  That  had  need  be  well-done,  wdiich  is  to 
be  done  for  life.  4.  See  how  firm  the  bond  of  mar- 
riage is,  net  to  be  divided  and  weakened  by  having 
I many  wives,  (Mai.  2.  15.)  nor  to  be  broken  or  cut 
off  by  divorce,  for  any  cause,  but  fornication,  or  vo- 
luntary desertion.  5.  See  how  dear  the  affection 
ought  to  be  between  husband  and  wife;  such  as 
there  is  to  our  own  bodies,  Eph.  5.  28.  They  two 
ai'e  one  flesh;  let  them  then  be  one  soul. 

IV.  An  evidence  of  the  purity  and  innocency  of 
that  state  wherein  our  first  parents  were  createfl,  v. 
25.  They  were  both  naked:  they  needed  no  clothes 
for  defence  against  cold  or  heat,  for  neither  could 
be  injurious  to  them ; they  needed  none  for  orna- 
ment, Solomon  in  all  his  glory  was  not  arrayed  like 
one  of  these;  nay,  they  needed  none  for  cfecency, 
they  were  naked,  and  had  no  reason  to  be  ashamed; 
They  knesv  not  ’udiat  shame  svas,  so  the  Chaldee 
reads  it.  Blushing  is  now  the  colour  cf  virtue,  but 
it  was  not  then  the  colour  of  innocency.  They  that 
had  no  sin  in  their  conscience,  might  well  have  no 
shame  in  their  faces,  though  they  had  no  clothes  to 
their  backs. 


CHAP.  in. 

The  story  of  this  chapter  is  perhaps  as  sad  a story  (all 
thinijs  considered)  as  any  we  have  in  all  the  Bib'e.  In 
the  foregoing  chapters,  we  have  had  the  pleasant  view 
of  the  holiness  and  happiness  of  our  first  parents,  the 
grace  and  favour  of  God,  and  the  peace  and  beauty  of 
the  whole  creation,  all  good,  very  good : but  here  the 
scene  is  altered.  We  have  here  an  account  of  the  sin 
and  misery  of  our  first  parents,  the  wrath  and  curse  of 
God  against  them,  the  peace  of  the  creation  disturbed, 
and  its  beautv  stained  and  sullied,  all  bad,  ver)'  bad. 
How  is  the  gol'd  become  dim,  and  the  most  fine  gold  chang 
ed!  O that  our  hearts  were  deeply  aflccted  with  this 
record  ! For  we  are  all  nearly  concerned  in  it ; let  it 
not  be  to  us  as  a tale  that  is  told.  The  general  contents 
of  this  chapter  wc  have,  Rom.  5.  12.  By  one  man  sin  en 
teredinto  the  world,  and  death  by  sin  ; and  so  death  pass 
ed  upon  a’l  men,  for  that  all  have  sinned.  More  particu 
larlv,  we  have  here,  I.  The  innocent  tempted,  v.  1 . . o. 
II.  The  tempted  transgressing,  v.  6.  . 8.  III.  The  trans 
gressors  arraigned,  v.  9,  10.  IV.  Upon  their  arraign 
ment,  convicted,  v.  1 1 ..  13.  V.  Upon  their  conviction, 
sentenced,  v.  14  . . 19.  VI.  Aflcr  sentence,  reprieved,  v. 
20,  21.  VII.  Notwithstanding  their  reprieve,  execution 
in  part  done,  v.  22..  24.  And  were  it  not  for  the  gra 
cious  intimations  here  given  of  redemption  by  the  pro 
mised  Seed,  they,  and'all  their  degenerate  guilty  race 
had  been  left  in  endless  despair. 

tlie  serpent  was  more  subtle 
than  any  beast  of  the  field  which 


37 


GENESIS,  III. 


tlie  Lord  God  had  made.  And  he  said 
unto  the  woman,  Yea,  hath  God  said.  Ye 
shall  not  eat  of  every  tree  of  tlie  garden  I 2. 
And  tlie  woman  said  unto  the  serpent.  We 
may  eat  of  the  fruit  of  the  trees  of  the  garden: 
3.  But  of  the  fruit  of  the  tree  which  is  in  the 
midst  of  tlie  garden,  God  hath  said.  Ye  shall 
not  eat  of  it,  neither  shall  ye  touch  it,  lest  ye 
die.  4.  And  the  serpent  said  unto  the  wo- 
man, Ye  shall  not  surely  die : 5.  For  God 
i.loth  know  tliat  in  the  day  ye  eat  thereof, 
then  your  eyes  shall  be  opened,  and  ye  shall 
be  as  gods,  knowing  good  and  evil. 

W’e  have  here  an  account  of  the  temptation  with 
which  Satan  assaults  our  first  parents,  to  draw 
them  to  sin,  and  which  proved  fatal  to  them.  And 
here  observe, 

1.  The  tempter,  and  that  was  the  Devil,  in  the 
shape  and  likeness  of  a serpent. 

].  It  is  certain  it  was  the  Devil  that  beguiled  Eve, 
the  Devil  and  Satan  is  the  old  serpent.  Rev.  12.  9, 
a malignant  spirit,  by  creation  an  angel  of  light,  and 
an  immediate  attendant  upon  God’s  throne;  but  by 
sin  become  an  apostate  from  his  first  state,  and  a 
rebel  against  God’s  crown  and  dignity.  Multitudes 
of  them  fell;  but  this  that  att  icked  our  first  pa- 
rents, evas  surely  the  prince  of  the  devils,  the 
ringleader  in  rebellion:  no  sooner  was  he  a sinner 
th  n he  was  a Satan,  no  sooner  a traitor  than  a 
teini)ter,  as  one  enraged  against  God  and  his  glory, 
and  envious  of  man  and  his  happiness.  He  knew  he 
could  not  destroy  man,  but  by  debauching  him. 
Ikd  uun  cculd  not  curse  Israel,  but  he  cculd  temjit 
Israel,  Rev.  2.  14.  The  game  therefore  which  Sa- 
tan had  to  play,  was,  to  draw  our  first  parents  to 
sin,  and  so  to  separate  between  them  and  their  Gcd. 
Thus  the  Devil  was,  from  the  beginning,  a murder- 
er, and  the  great  mischief-maker.  The  whole  race 
of  mankind  had  here,  as  it  were,  but  one  neck,  and 
at  that  Satan  struck.  The  adversary  and  enemt'  is 
that  wicked  one. 

2.  It  was  the  Devil  in  the  likeness  of  a serpent. 
M'  licther  it  was  only  the  visil)le  shape  and  appear- 
ance of  a serpent,  as  some  think  those  were  of  which 
we  read,  Exed.  7.  12,  or  whether  it  Avas  a real  li\  - 
ing  serpent,  actuated  and  possessed  by  the  Devil,  is 
net  certain;  by  God’s  permission  it  might  be  either. 
The  Devil  chose  to  act  his  pail  in  a serpent,  (1.) 
Because  it  is  a specious  creature,  has  a spotted  dap- 
pled skin,  and  then  went  erect.  Perhtips  it  was  a 
flying  serpent,  Avhich  seemed  to  come  from  on  high 
as  a messenger  from  the  upper  world,  one  of  the  Se- 
rafihhn;  f r the  fiery  serpents  were  flying,  Isa.  14. 
29.  Many  a dangerous  temptation  comes  to  us  in 
gay  fine  colours  that  are  but  skin-deep,  and  seems 
to  come  from  above ; for  S .tan  can  seem  an  angel  of 
light.  And,  (2.)  Because  it  is  a subtle  creature; 
that  is  here  taken  notice  of.  Many  instances  are 
given  of  the  subtlety  of  the  serpent,  both  to  do  mis- 
chief, and  to  secure  himself  in  it  when  it  is  done. 
We  ai'e  bid  to  be  Avise  as  seiiients.  But  this  ser- 
pent, as  c.ctu  ded  liy  the  Devil,  no  doubt,  was  more 
subtle  thiui  any  other;  f r the  Devil,  though  he' had 
1 -St  the  sanctity,  retains  'the  sagacity,  of  an  angel, 
and  is  Avise  to  do  eA'il.  He  kncAv  of  more  advant  ‘ge 
by  making  use  of  the  serpent,  than  we  are  aAvare  of. 
Gbseio  e,  There  is  net  any  thing  by  Avhich  the  Devil 
serves  himself  and  his  own  interest  more  than  bv 
unsanctified  subtlety.  What  Eve  thought  of  this 
seipcnt  speaking  to  her,  Ave  arc  not  likely  to  tell, 
Avlien  I believe  she  herself  did  not  knoAV  Avhat  to 
think  of  it.  At  first,  perhaps,  she  supposed  it  might 
be  a good  angel,  and  yet,  aftex'Avard,  might  suspect 


something  amiss.  It  is  remarkable  that  the  Gciaile 
idolaters  did  many  cf  them  worship  the  Devil  in  the 
shape  and  form  of  a serpent;  thereby  avoAving  their 
adherence  to  that  apostate  spirit,  and  Avearing  his 
colours. 

II.  The  person  tempted  was  the  ivoman,  noAv 
alone,  and  at  a distance  firm'her  husband,  but  near 
the  forbidden  tree.  It  was  the  Devil’s  subtlety,  1. 
To  assault  the  Aveaker  vessel  with  his  temptations; 
though  perfect  in  her  kind,  yet  we  may  suppose  hei 
inferior  to  Adam  in  knowledge,  and  strength,  aiio 
presence  of  mind.  Some  think  Eve  received  thi 
command,  not  immediately  from  Gcd,  but  at  second 
hand  by  her  husband,  and  therefore  might  the  more 
easily  be  persuaded  to  discredit  it.  2.  It  was  his 
policy  to  enter  into  discourse  with  her,  when  she 
Avas  alone.  Had  she  kept  close  to  the  side  out  of 
which  she  Avas  lately  taken,  she  had  not  been  so 
much  exposed.  There  are  many  temjitaticns  t<’ 
which  solitude  gives  great  advantage;  but  the  com 
muiiion  of  saints  contributes  much  to  their  strength 
and  safety.  3.  He  took  advantage  by  finding  her 
near  the  forbidden  tree,  and,  probably,  gazing  upon 
the  fruit  cf  it,  only  to  satisfy  her  curiosity.  They 
that  Avould  not  eat  the  forbidden  fruit,  must  not  come 
near  the  forbidden  tree.  Avoid  it,  pass  not  by  it, 
Prov.  4.  15.  4.  Satan  tempted  Eve,  that  by  her  he 

might  tempt  Adam;  so  he  tempted  Job  by  his  wife, 
and  Christ  by  Peter.  It  is  his  policy  to  send  temp- 
tations by  unsuspected  hands,  and  their’s  that  have 
most  interest  in  us  and  infl.uence  upon  us. 

HI.  The  temptation  itself,  and  the  artificial  man- 
agement of  it.  W’e  are  often,  in  scripture,  told  cf 
our  danger  by  the  temptations  of  Satan;  his  devices, 
2 Cor.  2.  11;  his  depths,  RcAa  2.  24;  his  ivilcs,  Eph. 
6.  11.  The  greatest  instances  Ave  have  of  them, 
Avere  in  his  tempting  of  the  two  Adams,  here,  and 
Matth.  4.  In  this,  he  prevailed;  but  in  that,  he  Avas 
baffled.  What  he  spake  to  them  of  whom  he  had 
no  hold  by  any  corruption  in  them,  he  speaks  in  us 
by  our  own  deceitful  hearts  and  their  carnal  reason- 
ings, Avhich  make  his  assaults  on  us  less  disceniible, 
but  not  less  dangerous.  That  Avhich  the  Devil  aim- 
ed at,  AA-as  to  persuade  Eve  to  eat  forbidden  fruit; 
and,  to  do  this,  he  took  the  same  method  that  he 
dees  still.  1.  He  questions  Avhether  it  Avere  a sin  or 
no,  V.  1.  2.  He  denies  that  there  Avas  any  danger  in 

it,  V.  4.  3.  He  suggests  much  advantage  by  it,  v. 

5.  And  these  are  his  common  topics. 

1.  Pie  questions  Avhether  it  Avere  a sin  or  no,  to 
eat  of  this  tree,  and  Avhether  really  the  fruit  of  it 
were  forbidden.  Yea;  hath  God  said,  Ye  shall  not 
eat?  The  first  Avord  intimated  something  said  be- 
fore, introducing  this,  and  Avith  Avhich  it  is  connect- 
ed; perhaps  some  discourse  Eve  had  Avith  herself, 
Avhich  Satan  took  hold  of,  and  grafted  this  question 
upon.  In  the  chain  of  thoughts,  one  thing  strangely 
brings  in  another,  and  perhaps  something  bad  at  last. 
Observe  here,  (1.)  He  does  not  discover  his  design 
at  first,  but  puts  a question  Avhich  seemed  innocent; 
“I  hear  a piece  of  neAvs,  pray,  is  it  true;  has  God 
forbidden  you  to  eat  of  this  tree  ?”  Thus  he  would 
begin  a discourse,  and  draAv  her  into  a parley. 
Those  tlr  . t Avould  be  safe,  have  need  to  be  suspicious, 
and  shy  of  t ilking  Avith  the  tempter.  (2.)  He  quotes 
the  command  fallaciously,  as  if  it  Avere  a prohibition, 
not  only  of  that  tree,  but  of  all;  God  had  said.  Of 
evern/  tree  ye  way  eat,  except  one.  He,  by  aggra- 
vating the  exception,  endeavours  to  invalidate  the 
conoessi^n;  Hath  C'odsaid,  Ye  shall  not  eat  of  eatery 
tree?  The  divine  P.iav  cannot  be  reproached,  unless 
it  be  first  misrepresented.  (3.)  He  seems  to  speak 
it  taunting! V,  upbraiding  the  Aveman  Avith  her  shy- 
ness of  meddling  Avith  that  tree;  as  if  he  had  said, 
“ You  are  so  nice  and  cauticus,  and  so  very  precise, 
because  God  has  said.  Ye  shall  not  eat.”  The  De- 
vil, as  he  is  a li  ir,  so  he  is  a scoffer,  from  the  begin 


GENESIS,  111. 


and  the  scoffers  of  the  last  days  are  his  cliil- 
dren.  (4.)  That  which  he  aimed  at  in  the  first 
onset,  was,  to  take  off  her  sense  of  the  obligation  of 
the  command.  “ Surely,  you  are  mistaken,  it  can- 
not be  tliat  God  should  tie  you  out  frona  this  tree; 
ne  would  not  do  so  unreasonable  a thing.”  See 
tiere.  That  it  is  the  subtlety  of  Satan  to  blemish  the 
reputation  of  the  divine  law,  as  uncertain,  or  unrea- 
sonable, and  so  to  draw  people  to  sin;  and  that 
it  is  therefore  our  wisdom  to  keep  up  a firm  belief 
of,  and  a high  respect  for,  the  command  of  God. 
Ha  ^ God  said,  “Ye  shall  not  lie,  nor  hike  his  name 
in  ' ain,  nor  be  drunk,  &c.  “ Yes,  I am  sure  he 

hqs,  and  it  is  well  said,  and  by  his  grace  I will  abide 
’ y it,  whatever  the  tempter  suggests  to  the  con- 
•rarv.” 

Now,  in  answer  to  this  question,  the  woman  gives 
lim  a plain  and  full  account  of  the  law  they  were 
under,  v.  2,  3.  Where  observe,  [1.]  It  was  her 
•weakness  to  enter  into  discourse  with  the  serpent: 
she  might  have  perceived  by  his  question,  that  he 
had  no  good  design,  and  should  therefore  have 
smarted  back  with  a Get  thee  behind  me,  Satan,  thou 
a<t  an  offence  to  me.  But  her  curiosity,  and  per- 
haps her  suqDi-ise,  to  hear  a serpent  speak,  led  her 
into  further  talk  with  him.  Note,  It  is  a dangerous 
thing  to  treat  with  a temptation,  which  ought  at 
first  to  be  rejected  with  disdain  and  abhorrence. 
The  garrison  that  sounds  a parley,  is  not  far  from 
being  surrendered.  Those  that  would  be  kept  from 
harm,  must  keep  out  of  harm’s  way.  See  Prov.  14. 
7. — 19.  27.  [2.]  It  was  her  wisdom  to  take  notice 

of  the  liberty  God  had  granted  them,  in  answer  to 
his  sly  insinuation,  as  if  God  had  put  them  into  pa- 
radise, only  to  tantalize  them  with  the  sight  of  fair 
but  forbidden  fruits.  “ Yea,”  says  she,  “we  may 
eat  of  the  fruit  of  the  trees,  thanks  to  our  Maker, 
we  have  plenty  and  variety  enough  allowed  us.” 
Note,  To  prevent  our  being  uneasy  at  the  restraints 
of  religion,  it  is  good  often  to  take  a view  of  the 
liberties  and  comforts  of  it.  [3.  ] It  was  an  instance 
of  her  resolution,  that  she  adhered  to  the  command, 
and  faithfully  repeated  it,  as  of  unquestionable  cer- 
tainty, “ God  hath  said,  I am  confident  he  hath  said 
it.  Ye  shall  not  eat  of  the  fruit  of  this  tree;”  and  that 
which  she  adds,  N'either  shall  ye  touch  it,  seerns  to 
have  been  with  a good  intention,  not  (as  some  think) 
tacitly  to  reflect  upon  the  command  as  too  strict, 
f Touch  not,  taste  not,  handle  not,)  but  to  make  a 
fence  about  it:  “We  must  noteat,  therefore  we  will 
not  touch.  It  is  forbidden  in  the  highest  degree, 
and  the  authority  of  the  prohibition  is  sacred  to  us.” 
[4.]  She  seems  a little  to  waver  about  the  threaten- 
ing, and  is  not  so  particular  and  faithful  in  the  repe- 
tition of  that  as  of  the  precept.  God  had  said.  In 
the  day  thou  eatest  thereof,  thou  shalt  surely  rf/o;  all 
she  makes  of  that  is.  Lest  ye  die.  Note,  Wavering 
faith,  and  wavering  resolutions  give  great  advantage 
to  the  tempter. 

2.  He  denies  that  there  was  any  danger  in  it; 
though  it  might  be  the  transgressing  of  a precept, 
yet  it  would  not  be  the  incurring  of  a penalty,  v.  4. 
Ye  shall  not  surely  die.  “Ye  shall  not  dying  die,'' 
so  the  word  is,  in  direct  contradiction  to  what  God 
had  said.  Either,  (1.)  “It  is  not  certain  that  ye 
shall  die,”  so  some.  “It  is  not  so  sure  as  ye  are 
made  to  believe  it  is.”  Thus  Satan  endeavours  to 
shake  that  which  he  cannot  overthrow,  and  invali- 
dates the  force  of  divine  threatenings  by  que.stioning 
the  certainty  of  them ; and  when  once  it  is  supposed 
possible  that  there  may  be  falsehood  or  fallacy  in 
anv  word  of  God,  a door  is  then  opened  to  downright 
infidelity.  Satan  teaches  men  first  to  doubt,  and 
then  to  deny;  he  makes  scei)tics  first,  and  so  by  de- 
grees make’s  them  atheists.  Or,  (2.)  “ It  is  certain 
ye  shall  not  die,”  so  others.  He  avers  his  contra- 
diction with  tlie  same  phrase  of  assurance  that  God 


hath  used  in  ratifying  the  threatening.  He  began 
to  call  the  precept  in  question,  v.  1,  but  finding  that 
the  woman  adhered  to  that,  he  quitted  that  battery, 
and  made  his  second  onset  upon  the  threatening, 
where  he  perceived  her  to  waver;  for  he  is  quick  to 
spy  all  advantages,  and  to  attack  the  wall  where  it 
is  v/eakest.  Ye  shall  not  surely  die.  This  was  a lie, 
a downright  lie;  for,  [1.]  It  was  contraiy  to  the 
v/ord  of  God,  which  we  are  sure  is  true;  see  1 John 
2.  21,  27.  It  was  such  a lie  as  gave  the  lie  to  Gcq 
himself.  [2.]  It  was  contrary  to  his  own  know- 
ledge; when  he  told  them  there  was  no  danger  in 
disobedience  and  rebellion,  he  said  that  which  he 
knew,  by  woeful  experience,  to  be  false.  He  had 
broken  the  law  of  his  creation,  and  had  found,  to  his 
cost,  that  he  could  not  prosper  in  it;  and  yet  he  tells 
our  first  parents  they  shall  not  die.  He  conceals  his 
own  misery,  that  he  might  draw  them  into  the  like: 
thus  he  still  deceives  sinners  into  their  own  ruin. 
He  tells  them,  though  they  sin  they  shall  not  die; 
and  gains  credit  rather  than  God,  who  tells  them. 
The  wages  of  sin  is  death.  Now  hope  of  inqDunity 
is  a great  support  to  all  iniquity,  and  impenitency  in 
it:  I shall  have  peace,  though  I walk  in  the  imagi- 
nation  of  my  heart,  Deut.  29.  19. 

3.  He  promises  them  advantage  by  it,  v.  5.  Here 
he  follows  his  blow,  and  it  was  a blow  at  the  root,  a 
fatal  blow  to  the  tree  we  are  branches  of.  He  not 
only  would  undertake  they  should  be  no  losers  by  it, 
thus  binding  himself  to  save  them  fi'cm  harm;  but 
(if  they  would  be  such  fools  as  to  venture  upon  the 
security  cf  one  that  was  himself  become  a bankrupt) 
he  undertakes  they  shall  be  gainers  by  it,  unspeaka- 
ble gainers.  He  could  not  have  persuaded  them  to 
run  the  hazard  of  ruining  themselves,  if  he  had  not 
suggested  to  them  a great  probability  cf  mending 
themselves. 

(1.)  He  insinuates  to  them  the  great  improve- 
ments they  would  make  by  eating  of  this  fruit.  And 
he  suits  the  temptation  to  the  pure  state  they  were 
now  in,  proposing  to  them,  net  anv  carnal  pleasures 
or  gratifications,  but  intellectual  delights  and  satisfac- 
tions. These  were  the  baits  with  wdiich  he  cover- 
ed his  hook.  [1.]  “ Your  eyes  shall  be  opened;  you 
shall  have  much  more  of  the  pow'er  and  pleasure  of 
contemplation  than  now  vou  have;  you  shall  fetch  a 
larger  compass  in  your  intellectual  views,  and  see 
further  into  things  than  now  you  do.”  He  speaks 
as  if  now  they  were  but  dim-sighted,  and  short- 
sighted, in  ccm])arison  cf  what  they  would  be  then. 
[2.]  “ You  shall  he  as  gods,  as  Rlohim,  mighty  gods; 
not  only  omniscient,  but  omnipotent  too:”  or,  “You 
shall  be  as  God  himself,  equal  to  him,  rivals  with 
him;  you  shall  be  sovereigns,  and  no  longer  subjects; 
self-sufficient,  and  no  longer  depending.”  A most 
absurd  suggestiin!  As  if  it  were  possible  for  crea- 
tures of  yesterday  to  be  like  their  Creator  that  w^as 
from  eternity,  [o.  ] “ You  shall  know  good  and  evil, 
that  is,  e\'ery  thing  that  is  desirable  to  be  known. " 
To  support  this  part  of  the  temptation,  he  abuses 
the  name  given  to  this  tree:  it  was  intended  to  teach 
the  firactical  knowledge  of  good  and  evil,  that  is,  of 
duty  and  disobedience;  and  it  would  ])rove  the  ex- 
perimental knowledge  of  good  and  e\  il,  that  is,  of 
luq)piness  and  misery.  In  these  senses,  the  name 
of  the  tree  was  a warning  to  them  not  to  cat  of  it; 
l)ut  he  perverts  the  sense  of  it,  and  wrests  it  to  their 
destruction,  as  if  this  tree  would  give  them  a specu- 
lative notional  knowledge  of  the  natures,  kinds,  and 
originals,  of  good  and  evil.  And,  [4.]  All  this  pre- 
sently; “ In  the  day  ye  eat  thereof,  you  will  find  a 
sudden  and  immediate  change  for  the  better.  ” Now 
:in  all  these  insinuations,  he  aims  to  beget  in  them. 
First,  Discontent  w'ith  their  present  state,  as  if  it 
were  not  so  good  as  it  might  be,  and  should  be 
Note,  No  condition  will  of  itself  bring  contentment, 
unless  the  mind  be  brought  to  it.  Adam  was  not 


39 


GENESIS,  111. 


ea£> , no  notin  paradise,  nor  the  angels  in  their  first 
stati;,  Jude  6.  Secondly,  Ambition  of  preferment, 
as  if  they  were  fit  to  be  gods.  Satan  had  ruined 
himself  by  desiring  to  be  like  the  Most  High,  Isa. 
14.  12..  14,  and  therefore  seek  to  infect  our  first  pa- 
rents with  the  same  desire,  that  he  might  ruin  them 
too. 

(2. ) He  insinuates  to  them  that  God  had  no  good 
design  upon  them,  in  forbidding  them  this  fruit. 
‘‘For  God  doth  know  how  much  it  will  advance 
)'ou;  and  therefore,  in  envy  and  ill-will  to  you,  he 
hath  forbidden  it:”  as  if  he  durst  not  let  them  eat  of 
that  ti-ee,  because  then  they  would  know  their  own 
strength,  and  would  not  continue  in  an  inferior  state, 
but  be  able  to  cope  with  him;  or  as  if  he  begrudg- 
ed them  the  honour  and  htmpiness  which  their  eat- 
ing of  that  tree  would  prefer  them  to.  Now,  [1.] 
This  was  a great  affront  to  God,  and  the  highest  in- 
dignity that  could  be  done  him;  a reproach  to  his 
power,  as  if  he  feared  liis  creatures;  and  much  more 
a reproach  to  his  goodness,  as  if  he  hated  the  work 
of  his  own  hands,  and  would  not  have  those  whom 
he  has  made,  to  be  made  happy.  Shall  the  best  of 
men  think  it  strange  to  be  misrepresented  and  evil 
spoken  of,  when  God  himself  is  so  I Satan,  as  he  is 
the  accuser  of  the  brethren  before  God,  so  he  ac- 
cuses God  before  the  brethren;  thus  he  sows  discord, 
and  is  the  father  of  them  that  do  so.  [2.  ] It  was  a 
most  dangerous  snare  to  our  first  parents,  as  it  tend- 
ed to  alienate  their  affections  from  God,  and  so  to 
withdraAV  them  from  their  allegiance  to  him.  Thus 
still  the  Devil  draws  jieople  into  his  interest  by  sug- 
gesting to  them  hard  thoughts  of  God,  and  false 
hopes  of  benefit  and  advantage  by  sin.  Let  us  there- 
fore, in  opposition  to  him,  always  think  well  of  God 
as  the  best  good,  and  think  ill’of  sin  as  the  worst 
of  evils:  thus  let  us  resist  the  Devil,  and  he  will  flee 
from  us. 

6.  And  when  the  woman  saw  that  the 
tree  was  good  for  food,  and  that  it  loas  plea- 
sant to  the  eyes,  and  a tree  to  be  desired  to 
make  wise,  she  took  of  the  fruit  thereof, 
and  did  eat,  and  gave  also  unto  her  hus- 
band with  her,  and  he  did  eat.  7.  And  the 
eyes  of  them  both  were  opened,  and  they 
knew  that  they  were  naked ; and  they 
sewed  fig-leaves  together,  and  made  them- 
selves aprons.  8.  And  they  heard  the  voice 
of  the  Lord  God  walking  in  the  garden  in 
the  cool  of  the  day;  and  Adam  and  his 
wife  hid  themselves  from  the  presence  of 
the  Lord  God  amongst  the  trees  of  the 
garden. 

Here  we  see  wh  it  Eve’s  parley  with  the  tempter 
ended  in;  Satan,  at  length,  gains  his  point,  and  the 
strong  hold  is  taken  by  his  wiles.  God  tried  the 
obedience  of  cur  first  parents  by  forbidding  them 
the  tree  of  knov/lcdge,  and  Satan  dees,  as  it  were, 
join  issue  with  God,  and  in  that  veiy  thing  under- 
fakes to  seduce  them  into  a transgressien ; and  here 
we  find  how  he  prevailed,  God  permitting  it  for 
wise  and  Ivly  ends. 

I.  \Ve  have  here  the  inducements  that  moved 
them  to  transgress.  The  woman  being  deceived 
by  the  tempter’s  artful  management,  was  ringleader 
in  the  transgression,  1 Tim.  2.  Id.  She  was  first  in 
the  fault;  and  it  was  the  result  of  her  consideration, 
or  rather,  her  inconsideration. 

1.  She  saw  no  harm  in  this  tree,  more  than  in 
any  of  the  rest.  It  was  said  of  all  the  rest  of  the 
fruit  trees  with  which  the  garden  of  Eden  was 
planted,  that  thej  were  pleasant  to  the  sight,  and 


good  for  food,  ch.  2.  9.  Now,  in  her  eye,  this  was 
like  all  the  rest;  it  seemed  as  good  for  food  as  .any 
of  them,  and  she  saw  nothing  in  the  colour  of  its 
fiaiit,  that  threatened  death  or  danger;  it  was  as 
pleasant  to  the  sight  as  any  of  them,  and  therefore, 
“What  hurt  could  it  do  to  them.^  Why  should 
this  be  forbidden  them  rather  than  any  of  the  rest.^” 
Note,  When  there  is  thought  to  be  no  more  harm 
in  forbidden  fruit  than  in  other  fruit,  sin  lies  at  the 
door,  and  Satan  soon  carries  the  day.  Nay,  per- 
haps, it  seemed  to  her  to  be  better  for  food,  more 
grateful  to  the  taste,  and  more  nourishing  to  the 
body,  than  any  of  the  rest,  and  to  her  eye  it  was 
more  pleasant  than  any.  We  are  often  betrayed 
into  snares  by  an  inordinate  desire  to  have  our 
senses  gratified.  Or,  if  it  had  nothing  in  it  more 
inviting  than  the  rest,  yet  it  was  the  more  coveted, 
because  it  was  prohibited.  Whether  it  were  so  in 
her  or  not,  we  find  that  in  us,  that  is,  in  our  flesh, 
in  our  corrupt  nature,  there  dwells  a strange  spirit 
of  contradiction,  Mitimur  in  vetitum — If  e desire 
what  is  prohibited. 

2.  She  imagined  more  virtue  in  this  tree  than  in 
any  of  the  rest;  that  it  was  a tree  not  cnlv  not  to  be 
dreaded,  but  to  be  desired  to  make  one  wise,  and 
therein  excelling  all  the  rest  of  the  trees.  This  she 
saw,  that  is,  she  perceived  and  understood  it  by 
what  the  Devil  had  said  to  her;  and  some  think  that 
she  saw  the  serpent  eat  of  that  tree,  and  that  he 
told  her  he  thereby  had  gained  the  faculties  of 
speech  and  reason,  whence  she  inferred  its  power 
to  make  one  wise,  and  was  persuaded  to  think,  “ If 
it  made  a brute  creature  rational,  wlw  might  it  not 
make  a rational  creature  divine?”  See  here  how 
the  desire  of  unnecessary  knowledge,  under  the 
mistaken  notion  of  wisdom,  proves  hurtful  and  de- 
structive to  many.  Our  first  parents,  who  knew  so 
much,  did  not  know  this,  that  they  knew  enough 
Christ  is  a Tree  to  be  desired  to  make  one  wise, 
(Col.  2.  3.  1 Cor.  1.  30.)  Let  us.  by  faith,  feed 
upon  him,  that  we  may  be  wise  to  salvation.  In 
the  heavenly  paradise,  the  tree  of  knowledge  will 
not  be  a forbidden  tree;  for  there,  we  shall  know  as 
we  are  known;  let  us  therefore  long  to  be  there, 
and,  in  the  mean  time,  not  exercise  ourselves  in 
things  too  high,  or  too  deep  for  us,  nor  covet  to  be 
wise  above  wh.at  is  written. 

H.  The  steps  of  the  transgression;  no  steps  up- 
ward, but  downward  toward  the  pit — steps  that 
took  hold  on  hell. 

I.  ^he  saw:  she  should  have  turned  away  her 
eyes'from'beTTdldmg  vahifj' ; but  she  enters  into  temp- 
tation, bv  looking  with  pleasure  on  the  forbidden 
fruit.  Observe,  A great  deal  of  sin  comes  in  at  the 
eye.  At  those  windows  Satan  throws  in  those  fiery 
darts  which  pierce  and  poison  the  heart.  The  eye 
affects  the  heart  with  guilt  as  well  as  grief.  Let  us 
therefore,  with  holy  Job,  make  a covenant  with  our 
eyes,  not  to  look  on  that  which  we  are  in  danger  of 
lusting  after,  Prov.  23.  31.  Matth.  5.  28.  Let  the 
fear  of  God  be  always  to  us  for  a covering  of  the 
eyes,  ch.  20.  16. 

" 2.  She  took:  it  was  her  own  act  and  deed.  The 
Devil  did  not  take  it,  and  put  it  into  her  mouth, 
whether  she  would  or  no;  but  she  herself  took  it. 
Satan  may  tempt,  but  he  cannot  force;  may  per- 
suade us  to  cast  ourselves  down,  but  he  cannot  cast 
us  down,  Matth.  4.  6.  Eve’s  taking  was  stealing, 
like  Achan’s  taking  the  accursed  thing,  taking  that 
which  she  had  no  right  to.  Surely,  she  took  it  with 
a trembling  hand. 

3.  She  did  eat:  when  she  locked,  perhaps  she  did 
not  intend  to  take,  of  when  she  took,  not  to  eat;  but 
it  ended  in  that  Note,  The  way  of  sin  is  down- 
hill; a man  cannot  stop  himself  when  he  will:  tfie 
beginning  of  it  is  as  the  breaking  forth  of  water,  f|> 
which  it  is  hard  to  say,  “ Hitheito  thou  shaft  come 


GENESIS,  IIJ. 


aiid  no  further:”  Therefore  it  is  our  wisdom  to  sup- 
press the  first  motions  o sin,  and  to  leave  it  off,  be- 
fore it  be  meddled  with.  Obuta  /irind/iiis — 
mischief  in  the  bud. 

4.  She  gave  also  to  her  husband  nvith  her:  it  is 
probable  that  ne  was  not  with  her  when  she  was 
tempted;  surely  if  he  had,  he  would  have  interposed 
to  prevent  the  sin;  but  he  came  to  her  when  she 
had  eaten,  and  was  prevailed  with  by  her  to  eat 
likewise;  W it  is  easier  to  learn  that  which  is  bad, 
than  to  teach  that  which  is  good.  She  gave  it  to 
him,  persuading  him  with  the  same  arguments  that 
the  sei-pent  had  used  with  her,  adding  this  to  all 
the  rest,  that  she  herself  had  eaten  of  it,  and  found 
it  so  far  from  being  deadly,  that  it  was  extremely 
pleasant  and  grateful:  stolen  waters  are  sweet.  She 
gave  it  to  him,  under  colour  of  kindness;  she  would 
not  eat  these  delicious  morsels  alone;  but  re:dly  it 
was  the  greatest  unkindness  she  could  do  him. 
Or  perhaps  she  gave  it  to  him,  that  if  it  should'' 
prove  hurtful,  he  might  share  with  her  in  the  mi- 
sery; which  indeed  looks  strangely  unkind,  and  yet 
may,  without  difficulty,  be  supposed  to  enter  into 
the  heart  of  one  that  had  eaten  forbidden  fruit. 
Note,  Those  that  have  themselves  done  ill,  are 
commonly  willing  to  draw  in  others  to  do  the  same. 
As  was  the  Devil,  so  was  Eve,  no  sooner  a sinner 
than  a tempter. 

4.  He  did  eat,  overcome  by  his  wife’s  importu- 
nity. It  is  needless  to  ask,  '“Wh.t  would  have 
been  the  consequence,  if  Jive  only  had  transgress- 
ed.>”  The  wisdom  of  God,  we  are  sure,  would 
have  decided  the  difficulty  according  to  equity;  bvit, 
alas,  the  case  was  not  so;  Adam  also  did  eat. 
“ And  what  great  harm  if  he  did?”  sav  the  cornipt 
and  carnal  reasonings  of  a vain  mind.  \Vhat  harm? 
Why,  there  was  in  it  disbelief  of  God’s  word,  to- 
gether with  confidence  in  the  Devil’s;  discontent  with 
his  pi'csent  state ; pride  in  his  own  merits;  an  ambition 
of  the  honour  which  comes  not  from  God;  envy  at 
God’s  perfections;  and  indulgence  of  the  appetites  of 
the  body.  In  neglecting  the  tree  of  life  which  he  was 
allowed  to  eat  of,  and  eating  of  the  tree  of  know- 
ledge which  was  forbidden,  he  jilainly  showed  a 
contempt  of  the  favours  which  God  had  bestowed 
on  him,  and  a preference  given  to  those  God  did  net 
see  fit  for  him.  He  would  be  both  his  own  carver, 
and  his  own  master;  would  have  what  he  pleased, 
and  do  what  he  pleased:  his  sin  was,  in  one  word, 
disobedience,  Rom.  5.  19;  disobedience  to  a plain, 
easy,  and  express  command,  which,  probably,  he 
knew  to  be  a command  of  trial.  He  sins  against 
great  knowledge,  against  many  mercies,  against 
light  and  love,  the  clearest  light,  and  the  dearest 
love,  that  ever  sinner 'sinned  against.  He  had  no 
corrupt  nature  within  him  to  betray  him;  but  had  a 
freedom  of  will,  not  enslaved,  and  was  in  his  full 
strength,  not  weakened  or  imjiaircd.  He  turned 
aside  quickly.  Some  think  he  fell  the  very  day  on 
which  he  was  m ide:  though  I see  not  how  to  recon- 
cile that  with  God’s  pron.  uncing  all  very  good,  in 
the  close  of  that  day : others  sup])ose  he  fell  on  the 
sabbath-day;  the  better  day,  the  worse  deed:  how- 
ever, it  is  certain  that  he  ke])t  his  integrity  but  a 
very  little  while;  lieing  in  honour,  he  continued  n' t. 
But  the  greatest  aggravation  of  his  sin,  was,  that  he 
involved  all  his  postcritv  in  sin  and  ruin  by  it.  God 
having  told  him  that  his  race  .should  replenish  the 
earth,  surelv  he  could  not  but  know  that  he  stood 
as  a pulfiic  person,  raid  that  his  disobedience  would 
be  f.ital  to  all  h's  seed;  and  if  so,  it  w.  s cert  only  the 
greatest  treacherv,  as  well  as  the  gre;  test  cruelty, 
that  ever  was.  The  hviman  nature  being  lodged 
entirely  in  our  first  p '.rents,  from  henceforward  it 
could  not  bvit  be  transmitted  from  them  under  an 
attainder  of  guilt,  a stain  of  dishonour,  and  an  he- 
reditary disease  of  sin  and  corruption.  And  can  we 


say,  then,  that  Adam’s  sin  had  but  little  harm  in  it? 

III.  The  immediate  consequences  of  the  transgres- 
sion. Shame  and  fear  seized  the  criminals,  ipso 
facto — in  the  fact  itself;  these  came  into  the  world 
along  with  sin,  and  still  attend  it. 

1.  hhame  seized  them  unseen,  v.  7,  where  ob- 
serve, 

(1.)  The  strong  convictions  they  fell  under,  in 
their  own  besoms;  The  eyes  of  them  both  were  open- 
ed. It  is  not  meant  of  the  eyes  of  the  body;  tho.se 
^vere  c pened  before,  as  appears  by  this,  that  the 
sin  came  in  at  them;  Jonathan’s  eyes  were  enlight- 
ened by  eating  forbidden  fruit,  1 Sam.  14.  S7,  that 
is,  he  was  refreshed  and  revived  by  it;  but  their’.s 
were  not  so.  Nor  is  it  meant  of  any  advances  made 
hereby  in  true  knowledge;  but  the  eyes  of  their 
consciences  were  opened,  their  hearts  smote  them 
for  what  they  had  done.  Now,  when  it  was  too 
^ate,  they  saw  the  folly  of  eating  forbidden  fruit. 
They  saw  the  happiness  they  had  fallen  from,  and 
the  misery  they  were  fallen  into.  They  saw  a loving 
God  provoked,  his  grace  and  favour  forfeited,  his 
likeness  and  image  lost,  dominion  over  the  creatun  s 
gone.  They  saw  their  natures  corrupted  and  dt:- 
praved,  and  felt  a disorder  in  their  own  spirits 
which  they  had  never  before  been  conscious  of. 
They  saw  a law  in  their  members  warring  against 
the  law  of  their  minds,  and  captivating  them  both 
to  sin  and  wrath.  They  saw,  as  Balaam,  when  hh- 
eyes  were  opened,  (Numb.  22.  31.)  the  angel  of  the 
Lord  standing  in  the  way,  and  'his  sword  drawn  in 
his  hand;  and  perhaps  tliey  saw  the  serpent  that 
had  abused  them,  insulting  over  them.  The  text 
tcdls  us,  they  saw  that  they  were  naked,  that  is,  [1.] 
,iThat  they  were  stripped,  deprived  of  all  the  hon- 
ours a.nd  joys  of  their  paradise  state,  and  exposed 
to  all  the  miseries  that  might  justly  be  expected 
from  an  angry  God;  they  were  disarmed,  their 
defence  was  departed  from  them.  [2.]  That  they 
were  shamed,  for  ever  shamed,  before  God  and 
angels;  they  saw  themselves  disrobed  of  all  t’ueir 
ornaments  and  ensigns  of  honour,  degraded  frrni 
their  dignity,  and  disgraced  in  the  highest  degre(  , 
laid  open  to  the  contempt  and  reproach  of  he..ven, 
and  earth,  and  their  own  consciences.  Nov/,  see 
here.  First,  what  a dishonour  and  disquietment  sin 
is;  it  makes  mischief  wherever  it  is  admitted,  sets 
men  against  themselves,  disturbs  their  peace,  imd 
destroys  all  their  comforts:  sooner  or  later,  it  will 
have  shame,  either  the  shame  of  true  repentance 
which  ends  in  glory,  or  that  shame  and  everk.sting 
contem])t,  to  which  the  wicked  shall  rise  at  the 
great  dav:  sin  is  a reproach  to  any  people.  Se- 
condly, W'hat  a deceiver  Satan  is;  he  told  our  first 
parents,  when  he  tempted  them,  that  their  eyes 
should  he  opened;  and  so  they  were,  but  ne  t as  they 
understood  iL  they  were  opened,  to  their  shame 
and  grief,  not  to  their  h'  nour  or  advantage.  There- 
fore, when  he  speaks  fair,  believe  him  not.  The 
most  malicirus  mischievous  liars  often  excuse  them- 
selves with  this,  that  they  are  only  equivocations; 
but  God  will  not  so  excuse  them. 

(2.)  The  sorry  shift  they  made,  to  palliate  these 
convictions,  and  to  arm  themselves  against  them; 
they  sewed,  or  pdatted  fig-leaves  together;  and,  to 
cover,  at  least,  jjai-t  of  their  shame  from  one  an- 
other, thev  made  themselves  aprons.  See  here  what 
is  commonly  the  folly  r.f  those  that  have  sinned. 
[1.]  'Fhat  they  are  more  solicitous  to  save  their 
credit  before  men,  than  to  obtain  their  pardon  from 
God;  they  are  backward  to  confess  their  sin,  and 
very  desirous  to  conceal  it,  ns  much  as  may  be;  1 
hax’e  sinned,  yet  honour  me.  [2.]  That  the  exc\ises 
men  make,  to  cover  and  extenuate  their  sins,  are 
vain  and  frivolous;  like  the  aprons  of  fig-leaves, 
thev  make  the  matter  never  the  bettci-,  but  the 
worse;  the  shame,  thus  hid,  becomes  the  mon* 


41 


GENESIS,  111. 


feliameful:  yet  thus  we  are  all  apt  to  cover  our  trans- 
ffressiom  as  Adam,  Job  31.  33. 

2.  Fear  seized  them  immediately  upon  their  eat- 
ing the  forbidden  fruit,  v.  8.  Observe  here, 

(1.)  What  was  the  cause  and  occasion  of  their 
fear;  they  heard  the  voice  of  the  Lord  God  walking 
in  the  garden  in  the  cool  of  the  day.  It  was  the  ap- 
proach of  the  Judge,  that  put  them  into  a fright : 
and  yet  he  came  in  such  a manner,  as  made  it  for- 
midable only  to  guilty  consciences.  It  is  supposed 
that  he  came  in  a human  shape,  and  that  he  who 
judged  the  world  now,  was  the  same  that  shall 
judge  the  world  at  the  last  day,  even  that  man 
whom  God  has  ordained:  he  appeared  to  them  now, 
(it  should  seem,)  in  no  other  similitude  than  that 
in  which  they  had  seen  him  when  he  put  them  into 
paradise;  for  he  came  to  convince  and  humble  tliem,  i 
not  to  amaze  and  terrify  them.  He  came  into  the  I 
garden,  not  descending  immediately  from  Heaven  ' 
in  their  view,  as  afterward  on  mount  Sinai,  (making 
either  thick  darkness  his  pavilion,  or  the  flaming  | 
fire  his  chariot,)  but  he  came  into  the  garden,  as 
one  that  was  still  willing  to  be  familiar  with  them. 
He  came  walking,  not  running,  not  riding  upon  the 
wings  of  the  wind,  but  walking  deliberately,  as  one 
slow  to  anger;  teaching  us,  when  we  are  ever  so 
much  provoked,  not  to  be  hot  or  hasty,  but  to  speak 
and  act  considerately,  and  not  rashly.  He  came  in 
the  cool  of  the  day,  not  in  the  night,  when  all  fears 
are  doubly  fearful,  nor  in  the  heat  of  the  day,  for  he 
came  not  in  the  heat  of  his  anger;  Fury  is  not  in 
him,  Isa.  27.  4.  Nor  did  he  come  suddenly  upon 
them ; but  they  heard  his  voice  at  some  dikance, 
giving  them  notice  of  his  coming,  and,  probably,  it 
was  a still  small  voice,  like  that  in  which  he  came 
to  inquire  after  Elijah.  Some  think  they  heard  him 
discoursing  with  himself  concerning  the  sin  of 
Adam,  and  the  judgment  now  to  be  passed  upon 
him;  perhaps,  as  he  did  conceniing  Israel,  Hcs.  11. 
8,  9.  How  shall  I give  thee  ufi?  Or  rather,  thev 
heard  him  calling  fcr  them,  and  coming  toward 
them. 

(2.)  ^\niat  was  the  effect  and  evidence  of  their 
fear;  they  hid  themselves  from  the  f rescnce  of  the 
Lord  God:  a sad  change!  ' Before  they  had  sinned, 
if  they  had  heard  the  voice  of  the  I.iOrd  God  coming 
toward  them,  they  would  have  run  to  meet  him,  and 
with  a humble  joy  welcomed  his  gracious  visits;  but 
now  that  it  was  otherwise,  God  was  become  a ter- 
ror to  them,  and  then,  no  marvel  that  they  were 
become  a terror  to  themselves,  and  full  of  confu- 
sion; their  own  consciences  accused  them,  and  set 
their  sin  before  them  in  its  colours;  their  fig-leaves 
failed  them,  and  would  do  them  no  service;  God 
was  come  forth  against  them  as  an  enemy,  and  the 
whole  creation  was  at  war  with  them ; and  as  vet, 
they  knew  not  of  any  mediator  between  them  and 
an  angry  God,  so  that  nothing  remained  Imt  a cer- 
tain fearful  looking  for  rf  judgment.  In  this  fright, 
thev  hid  themselves  among  the  bushes;  having  of- 
fended, they  fled  for  the  same.  Knowing  them- 
selves guilty,  thev  durst  not  stand  a trial,  but  ab- 
sconded, and  fled  from  justice.  See  here, 

[1. 1 The  falsehood  of  the  tempter,  and  tlie  frauds 
and  the  fallacies  of  his  temptations:  he  promised 
them  they  should  be  safe,  but  now  they  cannot  so 
much  as  think  themselves  so;  he  said  thev  shovdd 
not  die,  and  yet  now  they  are  forced  to  fly  fcr  their 
lives;  he  promised  them  they  should  be  advanced, 
hut  thev  see  themselves  abased,  never  did  thev 
seem  so  little  as  now;  he  promised  them  thev  should 
be  knowing,  but  they  see  themselves  at  a loss,  and 
know  not  so  much  as  where  to  hide  themselves;  he 
promised  them  they  should  be  as  gods,  great,  and 
bold,  and  daring,  but  they  are  as  criminals  disco- 
vered, trembling,  pale,  and  anxious  to  escape:  they 
would  not  be  subjects,  and  so  they  are  prisoners. 
VoL.  r. — F 


[2.]  The  folly  of  sinners,  to  think  it  either  possible, 
or  desirable,  to  hide  themselves  fn.m  God:  can  they 
conceal  themselves  from  the  Father  of  lights!*  Ps. 
139.  7,  &c.  Jer.  23.  24.  Will  they  withdraw  them- 
selves from  the  F ountain  of  life,  who  alone  can  give 
help  and  happiness.^  Jon.  2.  8.  [3.]  The  fears  that 
attend  sin;  all  that  amazing  fear  of  God’s  appear- 
ances, the  accusations  of  conscience,  the  approaches 
of  trouble,  the  assaults  of  inferior  creatures,  and 
the  arrests  of  death  which  is  common  among  men, 
all  these  are  the  effect  oi  sin.  Adam  and  Eve,  who 
were  partners  in  the  sin,  were  sharers  in  the  shame 
and  fear  that  attended  it;  and  though  hand  joined  in 
hand,  (hands  so  lately  joined  in  marriage,)  yet 
could  tliey  not  animate  or  fortify  one  another:  mi- 
serable comforters  they  were  become  to  each  ether! 

9.  And  the  Lord  God  called  unto  Adam, 
and  said  unto  him,  Where  art  thou?  10. 
And  h(‘,  said,  I heard  thy  voice  in  the  gar- 
den, and  1 tras  afraid,  because  I was  naked  ; 
and  1 hid  myself. 

W e have  here  the  arraignment  of  these  desert- 
ers before  the  righteous  judge  of  heaven  and  earth, 
who,  though  he  is  not  tied  to  observe  formalities, 
yet  proceeds  against  them  with  all  possible  fairness, 
that  he  may  be  justified  when  he  speaks.  Observe 
here, 

1.  The  startling  question  with  which  God  pur- 
sued Adam,  and  arrested  him.  Where  art  thou? 
Not  as  if  God  did  not  know  where  he  was; 
but  thus  he  would  enter  the  process  against  him. 
“Come,  where  is  this  foolish  man.^”  Some  nn  ke 
it  a bemoaning  question,  “Poor  Adam,  what  is  be- 
come of  thee.'”  “Alas  for  theeW  (so  seme  read 
it,)  “ How  art  thou  fallen,  Lucifer,  son  of  the  morn- 
ing! Thou  that  wast  my  friend  and  faveurite, 
whom  I have  done  so  much  for,  and  would  have 
done  so  much  more  for;  hast  thou  now  forsaken  me, 
and  ruined  thyselt.'  Is  it  come  to  this.'”  It  is  rather 
an  upbraiding  question,  in  order  to  liis  con\  ictk  n 
and  humiliation.  Where  art  thou?  Not,  In  wln.t 
filace,  but.  In  v/hat  condition?  “Is  this  all  tin  u 
hast  gotten  by  eating  forbidden  fruit.'  Tlnu  tlr  t 
wouldest  vie  with  me,  cn>st  thou  new  fly  from  me.'” 
Note,  (1.)  Those  who  by  sin  have  gone  astray  from 
God,  should  seriously  consider  where  they  arc; 
they  are  afar  oflT  from  all  good,  in  the  midst  of  their 
enemies,  in  bondage  to  Satan,  and  in  the  high  road 
to  utter  min.  This  inquiry  after  Adam  may  be 
looked  upon  as  a gracious  'pursuit  in  kindness  to 
him,  and  in  order  to  his  recoveiy.  If  (iod  had  nrt 
called  to  him,  to  reclaim  him,  his  ernditi  n had  been 
as  desperate  as  tlv't  of  fallen  angels;  this  lest  sheep 
had  wandered  endlessly,  if  the  good  shepherd  h' d 
not  sought  after  him,  to  bring^'him  back,  and  in 
order  to  that,  reminded  him  where  he  was,  where 
he  should  not  be,  and  where  he  could  not  be,  either 
h ippy  or  easy.  Note,  (2.)  If  sinr.ei’s  wall  but  con- 
sider where  they  are,  they  will  not  rest  till  they  re- 
turn to  God. 

2.  The  trembling  answ^er  which  Adam  ga\-c  to 
this  question,  v.  10,  I heard  thy  voice  in  the  garden, 
and  I vans  afraid:  he  does  not  own  his  guilt,  and 
yet  in  effict  confesses  it,  by  owning  his  shame  ; nd 
fear;  but  it  is  the  comnn  h fault  and  folly  of  those 
that  h ive  done  an  ill  thing,  when  they  are  ques- 
tioned aljont  it,  to  aokncwledge  no  more  than  what 
is  so  manifest  that  they  cannot  deny  it.  Adam  was 
afraid,  because  he  was  naked;  not  only  unarmed, 
and  therefore  afraid  to  contend  with  God,  but  un- 
clothed, and  therefore  afraid  so  much  as  to  appear 
before  him.  W e have  reason  to  be  afraid  of  ap- 
proaching to  God,  if  we  be  not  clothed  and  fenced 
with  the  righteousness  of  Christ;  for  n thing  but 
that,  will  be  armour  of  proof,  and  cover  tb.e  shame 


42 


GENESIS,  11] 


of  our  nakedness.  Let  us  therefore  put  on  the  Lord 
Jesus  Christ,  and  then  draw  near  with  humble 
boldness. 

1 1.  And  he  said,  Who  told  thee  that  thou 
wast  naked?  Hast  thou  eaten  of  the  tree, 
whereof  1 commanded  thee  that  thou 
shouldest  not  eat?  12.  And  the  man  said. 
The  woman  whom  thou  gavest  to  he  witii 
me,  she  gave  me  of  the  tree,  and  1 did  eat. 
13.  And  the  Lord  God  said  unto  the  wo- 
man, What  is  this  that  thou  liast  done? 
And  the  woman  said.  The  serpent  beguiled 
me,  and  1 did  eat. 

We  have  here  the  offenders  found  guilty  by  their 
own  confession,  and  yet  endeavouring  to  excuse  and 
extenuate  their  fault;  they  could  not  confess  and 
justify  what  they  had  done,  but  they  confess  and 
palliate  it.  Observe, 

I.  How  their  confession  was  extorted  from  them : 
God  put  it  to  the  man,  v.  11,  Who  told  thee  that 
thou  loast  naked?  “How  earnest  thou  to  be  sensi- 
ble of  thy  nakedness  as  thy  shame?”  Hast  thou 
eaten  of  the  forbidden  tree?  Note,  Though  God 
knows  all  our  sins,  yet  he  will  know  them  fx'om  us, 
and  requires  from  us  an  ingenuous  confession  of 
them;  not  that  he  maybe  informed,  but  that  we 
may  be  humbled.  In  tliis  examination,  God  reminds 
him  of  the  command  he  had  given  him:  “I  com- 
manded thee  not  to  eat  of  it,  I thy  Maker,  I thy  Mas- 
ter, I thy  Benefactor;  I commanded  thee  to  the  con- 
trary. ” Sin  appeal’s  most  plain,  and  most  sinful,  in 
the  glass  of  the  commandment,  therefore  God  here 
sets  it  before  Adam ; and  in  it  we  should  see  our  faces. 
The  question  put  to  the  woman,  was,  v.  13,  What 
is  ) his  that  thou  hast  done?  “Wilt  thou  also  own 
thy  fault,  and  make  confession  of  it?  And  wilt 
thou  see  Avhat  an  evil  thing  it  was?”  Note,  It  con- 
cerns those  Avho  have  eaten  forbidden  fruit  them- 
selves, and  especially  those  who  have  enticed  others 
to  it  likewise,  seriously  to  consider  what  they  have 
done.  In  eating  forbidden  fruit,  we  have  offended 
a great  and  gracious  God,  broken  a just  and  righte- 
ous law,  violated  a sacred  and  most  solemn  co\’e- 
nant,  and  wronged  our  own  precious  souls  by 
forfeiting  God’s  favour,  and  exposing  ourselves  to 
his  wrath  and  curse:  in  enticing  others  to  it,  we  do 
the  Devil’s  work,  make  ourselves  guilty  of  other 
men’s  sins,  and  accessary  to  their  ruin.  What  is 
this  that  sve  have  done? 

II.  How  their  crime  was  extenuated  by  them  in 
their  confession.  It  was  to  no  purpose  to  plead  not 
guilty;  the  show  of  their  countenances  testified 
against  them,  therefore  they  become  their  own  ac- 
cusers. I did  eat,  says  the  man,  “And  so  did!,” 
says  the  woman:  for  when  God  judges,  he  will  over- 
come: but  these  do  not  look  like  penitent  confes- 
sions; for  instead  of  aggravating  the  sin,  and  taking 
shame  to  themselves,  they  excuse  the  sin,  and  lay 
the  shame  and  blame  on  others. 

1.  Adam  lays  all  the  blame  upon  his  wife.  “ She 
gave  me  of  the  tree,  and  jiressed  me  to  eat  it,  which 
I did,  only  to  oblige  her;”  a frivolous  excuse.  He 
ought  to  have  taught  her,  not  to  have  been  taught  [ 
by  her;  and  it  was  no  hard  matter  to  determine 
which  of  the  two  he  must  be  ruled  by,  his  God  or  i 
his  wife.  Leam  hence,  never  to  lie  brought  to  sin 
by  that  which  will  not  bring  us  off  in  the  judgment: 
let  not  that  bear  us  uj)  in  the  commission,  which 
will  not  bear  us  out  in  the  trial:  let  us  therefore 
never  be  overcome  by  importunity  to  act  against 
our  consciences,  nor  ever  displease  God,  to  please 
the  best  friend  we  have  in  the  world.  But  this  is 
not  the  worst  of  it;  he  not  only  lays  the  blame  upon 


I ii.s  wife,  but  expresses  it  so  as  tacitly  to  reflect  or 
: God  himself:  “ It  is  the  woman  which  thou  gai’est 
I me,  and  gavest  to  be  with  me  as  my  companion,  my 
; guide,  and  my  acquaintance;  she  gave  me  of  the  tree, 
else  I had  not  eaten  of  it.  ” Thus  he  insinuates  that 
, God  was  accessary  to  his  sin:  he  gave  him  the  wo- 
man, and  she  gave  him  the  fruit;  so  that  he  seemed 
to  have  it  but  at  one  remo\  e from  God’s  own  hand. 
Note,  There  is  a strange  proneness  in  those  that  are 
tempted,  to  say  they  are  tempted  of  God ; as  if  our 
abusing  of  God’s  gifts  would  excuse  our  violation  of 
God’s  laws.  God  gives  us  riches,  honours,  and  re 
lations,  that  we  may  seri  e him  cheerfully  in  the 
enjoyment  of  them;  but  if  we  take  occasion  from 
them  to  sin  against  him,  instead  of  blaming  Provi- 
dence for  putting  us  into  such  a condition,  we  must 
blame  ourselves  for  perverting  the  gracious  designs 
of  Providence  therein. 

2.  Eve  lays  all  the  blame  upon  the  serpent;  The 
serpent  beguiled  me.  Sin  is  a brat  that  nobody  is 
willing  to  own;  a sign  that  it  is  a scandalous  thing. 
Those  that  are  willing  enough  to  take  the  pleasure 
and  profit  of  sin,  are  backward  enough  to  take  the 
blame  and  shame  of  it.  “The  serpent,  that  subtle 
creature  of  thy  making,  which  thou  didst  permit  to 
come  into  paradise  to  us,  he  beguiled  me,”  or,  made 
me  to  err;  for  our  sins  are  our  errors.  Learn  hence, 
(].)  That  Satan’s  temptations  are  all  beguilings,  his 
arguments  are  all  fallacies,  his  allurements  are  all 
cheats;  when  he  speaks  fair,  believe  him  net.  Sin 
deceives  us,  and,  by  deceiving,  cheats  us.  It  is  by 
the  deceitfulness  of  sin,  that  the  hea7-t  is  hardened; 
see  Horn.  7.  11.  Heb.  3.  13.  (2.)  That  though  Sa- 

tan’s subtlety  drew  us  into  sin,  yet  it  will  not  justify 
us  in  sin:  though  he  is  the  tempter,  we  are  the  sin- 
ners; and  indeed  it  is  our  own  lust  that  draws  us 
aside  and  entices  us.  Jam.  1.  14.  Let  it  not  there- 
fore lessen  our  sorrow  and  humiliation  for  sin,  that 
we  are  beguiled  into  it;  but  rather  let  it  increase 
our  self-indignation,  that  we  should  suffer  ourselves 
to  be  beguiled  by  a known  cheat  and  a sworn  ene- 
my. Well,  this  is  ail  the  prisoners  at  the  bar  have 
to’say,  why  sentence  should  not  be  passed,  and  exe- 
cution awarded,  according  to  law;  and  this  all  is 
next  to  nothing,  in  some  respects,  worse  than  no- 
thing. 

1 4.  And  the  Lord  God  said  unto  the  ser- 
pent, Because  thou  hast  done  this,  thou  art 
cursed  above  all  cattle,  and  above  every 
beast  ol’  the  field ; upon  thy  belly  shalt  thou 
SO,  and  dust  shalt  tliou  eat,  all  the  days  of 
thy  life.  15.  And  I will  put  enmity  be 
tween  thee  and  the  woman,  and  between 
thy  seed  and  her  seed ; it  shall  bruise  thy 
head,  and  thou  shalt  bruise  his  heel. 

The  prisoners  being  found  guilty  by  their  own 
confession,  beside  the  personal  and  infallible 
knowledE:e  of  the  Judge,  and  nothing  material 
being  offered  in  arrest  of  judgment,  God  imme- 
diately proceeds  to  pass  sentence;  and,  in  these 
verses,  he  begins  (where  the  sin  began)  with  the 
serpent.  God  did  not  examine  the  serpent,  nor 
ask  him  what  he  had  done,  or  why  he  did  it;  but 
immediately  sentenced  him,  1.  Because  he  was  al- 
ready convicted  ('f  rebellion  against  God,  and  his 
malice  and  wickedness  were  notoiious,  not  found 
by  secret  search,  but  openly  avowed  and  declared 
as  Sodom’x.  2.  Because  he  was  to  be  for  ever  ex- 
cluded from  all  hope  of  pardon;  and  why  should 
any  thing  be  said  to  convince  and  humble  him,  who 
was  to  find  no  jdace  for  repentance?  His  wound 
was  not  searched,  because  it  was  net  to  be  cured. 
Some  think  the  tondition  of  the  fallen  migels  w:is 


GENESIS,  III. 


not  declared  desperate  and  helpless,  until  now  that 
they  had  seduced  man  into  the  rebellion. 

The  sentence  passed  upon  the  tempter  may  be 
c-onsidei’ed, 

I.  As  lighting  upon  the  serpent,  the  binite-crea- 
ture  which  Satan  made  use  of,  which  was,  as  the 
lest,  made  for  the  service  of  man,  but  was  now 
abused  to  his  hurt;  therefore,  to  testify  a displeasure 
against  sin,  and  a Jealousy  for  the  injured  honour  of 
Adam  and  Eve,  God  fastens  a curse  and  reproach 
upon  the  serpent,  and  makes  it  to  groan,  being 
burthened,  2 Cor.  5.  4.  The  Devil’s  instruments 
must  share  in  the  Devil’s  punishments;  thus  the 
bodies  of  the  wicked,  though  only  instniments  of 
unrighteousness,  shall  partake  ot  everlasting  tor- 
ments with  the  soul,  the  principal  agent.  Even  the 
ox  that  killed  a man,  must  be  stoned,  Exod.  21.  28, 
29.  See  here,  how  God  hates  sin,  and  especially 
how  much  displeased  he  is  with  those  that  entice 
others  into  sin:  it  is  a perpetual  brand  upon  Jerobo- 
am’s name,  that  he  made  Israel  to  sm.  Now, 

1.  The  serpent  is  here  laid  under  the  curse  of 
God;  Thou  art  cursed  above  all  cattle;  even  the 
creeping  things,  when  God  made  them,  were  bless- 
ed of  him,  ch.  1.  22,  but  sin  turned  the  blessing  into 
a curse.  The  serpent  was  more  subtle  than  any 
beast  of  the  field,  v,  1,  and  here,  cursed  above  every 
beast  in  the  field:  unsanctified  subtlety  often  proves 
a great  curse  to  a man;  and  the  more  crafty  men 
are  to  do  evil,  the  more  mischief  they  do,  and,  con- 
sequently, they  shall  receive  the  greater  damna- 
tion. Suljtle  tempters  are  the  most  accursed  crea- 
tures under  the  sun. 

2.  He  is  here  laid  under  man’s  reproach  and  en- 
mity. (1.)  He  is  to  be  for  ever  looked  upon  as  a 
vile  and  despicable  creature,  and  a proper  object  of 
scorn  and  contempt;  “ Ufon  thy  belly  thou  shalt  go, 
no  longer  upon  feet,  or  half  erect,  but  thou  shalt 
crawl  along,  thy  belly  cleaving  to  the  earth;”  an 
expression  of  a very  abject  miserable  condition, 
Ps.  44.  25;  “and  thou  shalt  not  avoid  eating  dust 
with  thy  meat.  ” His  crime  was,  that  he  tempted 
Eve  to  eat  that  which  she  should  not;  his  punish- 
ment was,  that  he  was  necessitated  to  eat  that 
which  he  would  not.  Dust  thou  shalt  eat;  denoting 
not  only  a base  and  despicable  condition,  but  a mean 
and  pitiful  spirit:  it  is  said  of  those  whose  courage 
is  departed  from  them,  that  they  lick  the  dust  like  a 
serjient,  Mic.  7.  17.  How  sad  it  is,  that  the  ser- 
pent’s curse  should  be  the  covetous  worldling’s 
choice,  whose  character  it  is,  that  they  fmnt  after 
the  dust  of  the  earth!  Amos  2.  7.  These  choose 
tlieir  own  delusions,  and  so  shall  their  doom  be.  (2. ) 
He  is  to  be  for  ever  looked  upon  as  a venomous 
noxious  creature,  and  a proper  object  of  hatred  and 
detestation:  I will  fxut  enmity  between  thee  and  the 
woman.  The  inferior  creatures  being  made  for 
m in,  it  was  a curse  upon  any  of  them,  to  be  turned 
against  man,  and  man  against  them;  and  this  is 
part  of  the  serjjent’s  curse.  The  serpent  is  hurtful 
to  man,  and  often  bruises  his  heel,  because  it  can 
reach  m higher;  nay  notice  is  taken  of  his  biting 
the  horses’  heels,  ch.  49.  17.  But  man  is  victoi-i- 
ous  over  the  serpent,  and  biaiises  his  head,  that  is, 
gives  him  a mortal  wound,  aiming  to  destroy  the 
a holc  gene)  ation  of  vi])ers.  It  is  the  effect  of  this 
vurse  upon  the  sei-pent,  that  though  that  creature 
s suljtle  and  very  dangerous,  yet  it  prevails  not,  (as 
it  would  if  God  gave  it  commission,)  to  the  destruc- 
tion of  m inkind;  but  this  fear  of  serpents  is  much  i 
reduced  bv  that  promise  of  God  to  his  people,  Ps.  i 
91.  13,  Thou  shalt  tread  upon  the  lion  and  the 
adder,  and  that  of  Christ  to  his  disciples,  Mark  16.  [ 
18,  They  shall  take  up  serpents;  ovitness  Paul,  who  | 
was  unhurt  by  the  viper  that  fastened  upon  his  hand.  ! 
Observe  here,  that  the  serpent  and  the  woman  had  i 
lust  now  been  very  familiar  and  friendly  in  discourse  1 


I about  the  forbidden  fruit,  and  a wonderful  agree- 
I ment  there  was  between  them;  but  here  they  are 
i irreconcilably  set  at  variance.  Note,  Sinful  friend- 
slnps  justly  end  in  mortal  feuds:  those  that  unite  in 
I wickedness,  will  not  unite  long. 

I II.  This  sentence  may  be  considei’cd  as  levelled 
: at  the  Devil,  who  only  made  use  of  the  serpent,  as 
his  vehicle  in  this  appearance,  but  was  himself  the 
: principal  agent.  He  that  spoke  through  the  ser- 
pent’s mouth,  is  here  struck  at  through  the  ser- 
pent’s side,  and  is  principally  intended  in  the  sen- 
tence, which,  like  the  pillar  of  cloud  and  fire,  has  a 
j dark  side  toward  the  Devil,  and  a bright  side  'to- 
ward  our  first  parents  and  their  seed.  Great  things 
are  contained  in  these  words.  * 

1.  A perpetual  reproach  is  here  fastened  upon 
that  great  enemy  both  to  God  and  man.  Under 
the  cover  of  the  serpent,  he  is  here  sentenced  to  be, 
(1.)  Degraded  and  accursed  of  God.  It  is  sup- 
posed that  pride  was  the  sin  that  turned  angels  into 
: devils,  which  is  h^e  justly  punished  by  a great  v:i- 
; riety  of  mortifications  couched  under  the  mean  cir- 
cumstances of  a seiqient  crawling  on  his  belly,  and 
licking  the  dust.  How  art  thou  fallen,  O Lucifer! 
Pie  that  would  be  above  God,  and  would  head  a re- 
bellion against  him,  is  justly  exposed  here  to  con- 
tempt, and  lies  to  be  trodden  on;  a man’s  pride  will 
bring  him  low,  and  God  will  humble  those  that  will 
not  humble  themselves.  (2. ) Detested  and  abhorred 
of  all  mankind;  even  those  that  are  really  seduced 
into  his  interest,  yet  profess  a hatred  and  abhor- 
rence of  him;  and  all  that  are  bom  of  God,  make 
it  their  constant  care  to  keep  themselves,  that  that 
wicked  one  touch  them  net,  1 John  5.  18.  He  is 
here  condemned  to  a state  of  war  and  irreconcilable 
enmity.  (3. ) Destroyed  and  ruined,  at  last,  by  the 
great  Redeemer,  signified  by  the  breaking  cf  his 
head;  his  subtle  politics  shall  be  all  baffled,  h's 
usuiqied  power  shall  be  entirelv  crushed,  and  he 
shall  be  for  ever  a captive  to  the  injured  honour  c f 
the  divine  sovereignty:  by  being  told  of  this  now, 
he  was  tormented  before  the  time. 

2.  A peiqietual  quarrel  is  here  commenced  be- 
tween the  kingdom  ofUod,  and  the  kingdom  of  the 
Devil  among  men;  war  is  proclaimed  between  the 
Seed  of  the  woman  and  the  seed  of  the  sement. 
That  war  in  Heaven  between  Michael  and  the  Dra- 
gon began  now.  Rev.  12.  7.  It  is  the  fmit  of  this 
I enmity,  (1.)  That  there  is  a continual  conflict  be- 
tween grace  and  cormption  in  the  hearts  of  God’s 
people:  Satan,  by  their  cormptiens,  assaults  them, 
bufi'ets  them,  sifts  them,  and  seeks  to  devour  them; 
they,  by  the  exercise  of  their  graces,  resist  him, 
wrestle  with  him,  quench  his  fiery  darts,  force  him 
to  flee  from  them.  Heaven  and  hell  can  ne\  cr  be 
reconciled,  nor  light  and  darkness;  no  more  can  Sa- 
tan and  a sanctified  soul,  for  these  are  contrarv  the 
one  to  the  other.  (2.)  That  there  is  likewise  a con- 
tinual struggle  between  the  wicked  and  the  godly  in 
this  world.  They  that  love  God,  account  those  their 
enemies,  that  hate  him,  Ps.  139.  21,  22.  And  all  the 
rage  and  malice  of  persecutors  against  the  people 
of  God,  are  the  fniit  of  this  enmity,  which  will  con- 
tinue Avhile  there  is  a godly  man  on  this  side  heaven, 
and  a wicked  man  on  this  side  hell;  Marvel  not 
therefore,  if  the  world  hate  you,  1 John  3.  13.* 

3.  A gracious  promise  is  here  made  of  Christ,  as 
the  Deliverer  of  fallen  man  from  the  power  of 
Satan;  though  it  was  expressed  to  the  serpent,  yet 
it  was  expressed  in  the  hearing  of  our  first  parents, 
who,  doubtless,  took  the  hints  of  grace  here  given 
them,  and  saw  a door  of  hope  opened  to  them;  else, 
the  following  sentence  upon  themselves  would  have 
overwhelmed  them.  Here  was  the  dawning  of  the 
gospel-day:  no  sooner  was  the  wound  given,  than 
the  remedy  was  provided  and  revealed;  here,  in 
the  head  of  the  book,  as  the  word  is,  (Heb.  10.  7.t 


44 


GENESIS,  II]. 


in  the  beginning  of  the  Bible,  it  is  written  of  Christ, 
that  he  should  do  the  ivill  of  God.  By  faith  in  this 
promise,  we  have  reason  to  think,  our  first  parents,  : 
and  the  patriarchs  before  the  flood,  were  justified  ^ 
and  saved;  and  to  this  promise,  and  the  benefit  cf  j 
it,  instantly  serving  God  day  and  night,  they  hoped  | 
to  come.  Kotice  is  here  given  them  of  three  things  ^ 
concerning  Christ. 

(1.)  His  incarnation;  that  he  should  be  the  Seed 
of  the  woman,  the  Seed  cf  that  woman;  therefore 
bis  genealogy,  Luke  3,  goes  so  high  as  to  show  him 
to  be  the  son  of  Adam,  but  G-od  does  the  woman 
the  honour  to  call  him  rather  hei'  seed,  Ijccause  slie 
it  was  whom  the  De\  il  had  beguiled,  and  ( n wlirm 
.\dani  had  laid  the  blame;  herein  God  magnifies 
his  grace,  in  that  though  the  woman  was  first  in  j 
the  transgression,  yet  she  shall  be  saved  by  child- 
bearing, (as  some  read  it,)  that  is,  by  the  premised 
Seed  which  shall  descend  from  her,  i Tini.  2.  15. 
He  was  likewise  to  Ite  the  seed  of  a woman  only,  a 
virgin;  that  he  might  not  be  tainted  with  the  cor- 
ruption of  our  nature;  he  was  sent  forth,  made  of  a 
woman,  Gal.  4.  4,  that  this  promise  might  be  ful- 
filled. It  speaks  great  encouragement  to  sinners, 
that  their  Saviour  in  the  Seed  of  the  woman,  bone 
of  our  bone,  Heb.  2.  11.  14.  Man  is  therefore  sin- 
ful and  unclean,  because  he  is  born  of  a %voman. 
Job  25.  4.)  and  therefore  hin  days  are  full  of  trou- 
le.  Job  14.  1.  But  the  Seed  of  the  woman  was 
made  sin  and  a curse  for  us,  so  saving  us  from  both. 

(2. ) His  sufferings  and  death;  pointed  at  in  Satan’s 
bruising'  his  heel,  that  is,  his  human  nature.  Satan 
tempted  Christ  in  the  wilderness,  to  draw  him  into 
sin;  and  some  think  it  was  Satan  that  terrified 
Christ  in  his  agony,  to  have  driven  him  to  despair. 
It  was  the  Devil  that  put  it  into  the  heart  of  Judas 
to  betray  Christ,  of  Peter  to  deny  him,  of  tiie  chief 
priests  to  prosecute  him,  of  the  false  witnesses  to 
accuse  him,  and  of  Pilate  to  condemn  him;  aiming 
in  all  this,  by  destroying  the  Saviour,  to  ruin  the 
salvation;  but,  on  the  contrary,  it  was  by  death  that 
Christ  destroyed  him  that  had  the  power  of  death, 
Heb.  2.  14.  Christ’s  heel  was  bruised,  when  his 
feet  were  iiierced  and  nailed  to  the  cross,  and 
Christ’s  sufferings  are  continued  in  the  sufferings 
of  the  saints  for  his  name.  The  De\'il  tempts  them, 
casts  them  into  prison,  persecutes  and  slays  them; 
and  so  bmises  the  heel  of  Christ,  who  is  afflicted 
in  their  afflictions.  But  while  the  heel  is  loruised 
on  earth,  it  is  well  that  the  Head  is  safe  in  heaven. 

(3.)  His  victory  over  Satan  thereby.  Satan  had 
now  trampled  upon  the  wonuui,  and  insulted  o\  er 
her;  but  the  Seed  ( f the  woman  should  be  raised  up 
in  the  fulness  of  time  to  avenge  her  quarrel,  and  to 
trample  upon  him,  to  spoil  him,  to  lead  him  cap- 
tive, and  to  trium/th  ODer  him.  Col.  2.  15.  He 
shall  bruise  his  head,  that  is,  he  shall  destroy  all  his 
politics  and  his  powers,  and  gi\  e a total  overthrow 
to  his  kingdom  and  interest.  Christ  baffled  Satan’s 
temptations,  rescued  souls  out  of  his  hands,  cast 
him  out  of  the  bodies  of  people,  dispossessed  the 
strong  man  armed,  and  diiided  the  spoil;  liy  his 
death,  he  ga\  e a fatal  and  incurable  lilow  to  the 
Devil’s  kingdom,  a wound  to  the  head  of  this 
beast,  that  can  never  be  healed.  As  his  gcsjiel  gets 
ground,  Satan  falls,  Luke  10.  IS,  and  is  bound. 
Rev.  20.  2.  By  his  grace,  he  treads  Satan  under 
his  people’s  feet,  Roni.  16.  20,  and  will  shortly  cast 
him  into  the  lake  of  fire.  Rev.  20.  10.  And  the 
Devil’s  ])cr])etual  o^•erthrow  v/ill  be  the  complete 
and  everlasting  joy  and  glory  of  the  chosen  rem- 
nant. 

16.  Unto  llie  woman  he  said,  I will 
greatly  multiply  thy  sorrow,  and  thy  con- 
e.eption;  in  sorrow  thou  shalt  bring  forth 


children  ; and  thy  desire  shall  he  to  thy 
husband,  and  he  shall  rule  over  thee. 

We  have  here  the  sentence  passed  upon  the  wo- 
man for  her  sin:  two  things  she  is  condemned  to,  a 
state  of  sorrow,  and  a state  of  subjection;  ])rcper 
punishments  of  a sin  in  which  she  had  gratified  her 
pleasure  and  her  pride. 

I.  She  is  here  put  into  a state  of  sorrow;  one 
particular  of  which  only  is  specified,  that,  in  bring- 
ing forth  children;  but  it  includes  all  those  impres- 
sions of  grief  and  fear  which  the  mind  of  that 
tender  sex  is  mest  apt  to  receive,  and  all  the  com- 
mon calamities  which  they  are  liable  to.  Note,  Sin 
brought  sorrow  into  the  world;  that  was  it  that 
made  the  world  a vale  of  tears,  brought  showers 
of  trouble  upen  cur  heads,  and  epened  springs  of 
sorrows  in  our  hearts,  and  so  deluged  the  world: 
had  we  known  no  guilt,  we  should  have  known  no 
grief.  The  pains  of  child-bearing,  which  are  gi'eat 
to  a proverb,  a scripture-proverb,  are  the  effect  of 
sin;  every  pang  and  every  groan  cf  the  travailing 
woman,  speak  aloud  the  fatal  consequences  cf  sin: 
this  comes  of  eating  forbidden  fruit.  Observe,  1. 
'Fhe  sorrows  are  here  said  to  be  multiplied,  greatly 
multiplied ; all  the  sorrow's  of  this  ])resent  time  are 
so;  many  are  the  calamities  which  human  life  is 
liable  to,  of  various  kinds,  and  often  repeated,  the 
clouds  returning  after  the  rain;  no  marvel  that  cur 
sorrows  are  multiplied,  when  cur  sins  are;  both  are 
innumerable  evils.  The  sorrows  of  child-bearing 
are  multiplied;  for  they  include,  not  only  the  tra- 
vailing throes,  but  the  indispositions  before,  (it  is 
sorroAv  from  the  conception,)  and  the  musing  toils 
and  vexations  after;  and  after  all,  if  the  children 
prove  wicked  and  foolish,  they  are,  more  than  ever, 
the  heaviness  of  her  that  bare  them.  Thus  are  the 
sorrows  multiplied;  as  one  grief  is  over,  another  suc- 
ceeds in  this  world.  2.  It  is  God  that  multiplies 
our  sorrows;  I will  do  it.  God,  as  a righteous 
Judge,  dees  it,  wdiich  ought  to  silence  us  under  all 
our  sorrows;  as  many  as  they  are,  w'e  have  desein  ed 
them  all,  and  more;  nay,  God,  as  a tender  Father, 
does  it  for  our  necessary  correction,  that  we  may  be 
humbled  for  sin,  and  Aveaned  from  the  Avorld  by  all 
our  sorrows;  and  the  good  Ave.get  by  them,  Avith  the 
comfort  Ave  have  under  them,  Avill  abundantly  lia- 
lance  all  cur  sorrows,  hoAv  greatly  sccA  er  they  are 
m.ultiplied. 

II.  She  is  here  put  into  a state  of  subjection;  the 
Avhole  sex,  Avhich,  by  creation,  Avas  equal  Avith 
man,  is,  for  sin,  made  inferior,  and  forbidden  co 
usurp  authority,  1 Tim.  2.  11,  12.  The  Avife  par- 
ticularly is  hereby  put  under  the  dominion  of  her 
husband,  and  is  not  sui  juris — at  her  own  disposal; 
of  Avhich  see  an  instance  in  that  hiAv,  Numb.  30.  6. . 
8,  Avhere  the  husband  is  empoAvered,  if  he  please, 
to  disannul  the  vows  made  by  the  Avife.  This  sen- 
tence amounts  only  to  that  command,  Jl'wes,  be  in 
subjection  to  your  own  husbands;  but  the  entrance 
of  sin  has  made  that  duty  a jjunishment,  Avhich 
otherAvise  it  would  not  have  been.  If  man  had  not 
sinned,  he  Avoidd  ahvaA's  Iuia  c ruled  Avith  Avisdom 
and  loA  e;  and  if  tlve  Avoman  had  not  sinned,  she 
AV(  uld  always  have  obeyed  w’ith  humility  and  meek- 
ness, and  then  the  dominion  had  been  no  grievance: 
l)ut  our  OAvn  sin  and  folly  make  our  yoke  hcavv.  If 
lave  had  not’  eaten  forbidden  fruit  herself,  and 
tem])ted  her  husband  to  it,  she  had  never  com- 
]fiained  of  her  subjection;  therefore  it  ought  never 
to  be  complained  of,  though  harsh;  but  shi  must  l)e 
complained  of,  that  made  it  so.  Those  AviA  i s,  Avho 
not  only  desjjise  and  disobey  their  husbands,  but 
domineer  over  them,  do  not  consider  that  thev  not 
only  violate  a divine  laAV,  but  tliAvart  a divine  sen- 
tence. 

Lastly,  Observe  here,  hoAv  mercy  is  mixed  with 


45 


GENESIS,  111. 


*vTath  in  this  sentence;  the  woman  shall  have  sor- 
row, but  it  shall  be  in  bringing  forth  children,  and 
the  sorrow  shall  be  forgotten  for  joy  that  a child  is 
born,  John  16.  21.  She  shall  be  subject,  but  it 
shall  be  to  her  own  husband  that  loves  her,  not 
to  a stranger,  or  an  enemy:  the  sentence  was 
not  a curse,  to  bring  her  to  laiin,  but  a chastisc- 
nent,  to  bring  her  to  repentance.  It  was  well  that 
enmity  was  not  put  between  the  man  and  the  wo- 
man, as  there  was  between  the  serpent  and  the 
woman. 

17.  And  unto  Adam  he  said,  Because 
thou  hast  hearkened  unto  t!ie  voice  of  thy 
wife,  and  hast  eaten  of  the  tree,  of  which  I 
commanded  thee,  saying.  Thou  slialt  not 
eat  of  it : cursed  is  the  ground  for  thy  sake  : 
in  sorrow  shalt  thou  eat  of  it  all  the'  days 
of  thy  life.  18.  Thorns  also  and  thistles 
shall  it  bring  forth  to  thee ; and  thou  shalt 
eat  the  herb  of  the  field.  19.  In  the  sweat 
of  thy  face  shalt  thou  eat  bread,  till  thou 
return  unto  the  ground ; for  out  cf  it  wast 
thou  taken ; for  dust  thou  art,  and  unto  dust 
shalt  thou  return. 

We  have  here  the  sentence  passed  upon  Adam, 
which  is  prefaced  with  a recital  of  his  crime,  i\ 
17,  Because  thou  hast  hearkened  to  the  voice  cf  thy 
wife.  He  excused  the  fault,  by  laying  it  on  his 
wife.  She  gave  it  me:  but  God  does  not  admit  the 
excuse;  she  could  but  tempt  him,  she  could  not 
force  him;  though  it  was  her  fault  to  persuade  him 
to  eat  it,  it  was  his  fault  to  hearken  to  her.  Thus 
men’s  frivolous  pleas  will,  in  the  day  of  God’s  judg- 
ment, not  only  be  over-ruled,  but  turned  against 
them,  and  made  the  grounds  of  their  sentence.  Out 
of  thine  own  mouth  will  I judge  thee.  God  put 
marks  of  his  displeasure  on  Adam  in  three  instances. 

I.  His  ha.bitation  is,  by  this  sentence,  cursed; 
Cursed  is  the  ground  for  thy  sake;  and  the  effect 
of  that  curse  is.  Thorns  and  thistles  shall  it  bring 
forth  unto  thee.  It  is  here  intimated  that  his  habi- 
tation should  be  changed;  he  should  no  longer  dwell 
in  a distinguished,  blessed,  paradise,  but  should  be 
removed  to-  common  ground,  and  that,  cursed. 
The  ground,  or  earth,  is  here  put  for  the  whole 
visible  creation,  which,  by  the  sin  of  man,  is  made 
subject  to  vanity,  the  se\  eral  parts  of  it  being  not  so 
serviceable  to  man’s  comfort  and  happiness,  as  they 
were,  designed  to  be  when  they  were  made,  and 
woidd  have  been  if  he  had  not  sinned.  God  gave 
the  earth  to  the  children  of  men,  designing  it  to  be 
a comfortable  dwelling  to  them;  but  sin  has  altered 
the  property  of  it,  it  is  now  cursed  for  man’s  sin; 
that  is,  it  is  a dishonourable  habitation,  it  bespeaks 
man  mean,  that  his  foundation  is  in  the  dust;  it  is  a 
dry  and  barren  habitation,  its  spontaneous  produc- 
tions are  now  weeds  and  briars,  something  nauseous 
or  noxious;  what  good  fruits  it  produces,  must  be 
extorted  from  it  by  the  ingenuity  and  industry  of 
man.  Finitfulness  was  its  blessing,  for  man’s  ser- 
vice, ch.  1.  11.  29;  and  now  baiTenness  was  its 
curse,  for  man’s  punishment.  It  is  not  what  it  was 
in  the  day  it  was  created.  Sin  tumed  a fruitful 
land  into  barrenness;  and  man,  being  become  as  the 
wild  ass’s  colt,  has  the  wild  ass’s  lot.  Job  39.  6;  the  I 
wilderness  for  his  habitation,  and  the  barren  land 
his  dwelling,  Ps.  68.  6.  Had  not  this  curse  been,  in  I 
part,  removed,  for  aught  I know,  the  earth  had  | 
been  for  ever  barren,  and  had  never  produced  any  \ 
thing  but  thorns  and  thistles.  The  ground  is  ' 
cursed,  that  is,  doomed  to  destruction,  at  the  end  ! 
of  time,  when  the  earth,  and  all  the  works  that  I 
are  therein,  shall  be  burnt-uji  for  the  sin  of  man,  1 


the  measure  of  whose  iniquity  will  then  be  full, 
2 Pet.  3.  7,  10.  But  observe  a mixture  of  mercy  in 
this  sentence;  1.  Adam  is  not  himself  cursed,  as'the 
serpent  was,  v.  14,  but  only  the  ground  for  his 
sake.  God  had  blcs  ings  in  him,  even  the  holy 
seed;  Destroy  it  not,  for  that  blessing  is  in  it,  Isa. 
65.  8.  And  he  had  blessings  in  store  for  him; 
therefore  he  is  not  directly  and  immediately  cursed, 
but,  as  it  were,  at  secend  hand.  2.  He  is  yet  above 
ground;  the  earth  does  net  epen,  and  swallow  him 
up,  ( nly  it  is  ne  t what  it  was:  as  he  continues  alive, 
notwithstanding  his  degeneracy  from  his  primitive 
purity  and  rect  tude,  so  the  earth  continues  to  be  his 
habitation,  notwithstanding  its  degeneracy  from  its 
pi-imitive  beauty  and  fruitfulness.  3.  This  curse 
upon  the  earth,  which  cut  eff  all  expectations  of  a 
happiness  in  thii^gs  below,  might  direct  and  quicken 
him  to  lock  f r bliss  and  satisfaction  only  in  things 
above. 

II.  His  employments  and  enjoyments  are  all  im- 
bittered  to  him. 

1.  His  business  shall  from  henceforth  become  a 
toil  to  him,  and  he  shall  go  on  with  it  in  the  sweat 
of  his  face,  V.  19.  His  business,  before  he  sinned, 
was  a constant  pleasure  to  him:  the  garden  was 
then  dressed  without  any  uneasy  labour,  and  kept 
without  any  uneasy  care;  but  now,  his  labour  shall 
be  a weariness,  and  shall  waste  his  body;  his  care 
shall  be  a torment,  and  shall  afflict  his  mind.  The 
curse  upon  the  ground,  which  made  it  baiTen,  and 
produce  thorns  and  thistles,  made  his  employment 
about  it  much  more  difficult  and  toilsome.  If  Adam 
had  not  sinned,  he  had  not  sweat.  Observe  here, 
(1.)  That  labour  is  our  duty,  which  we  must  faith- 
fully perform : we^afe 'bound  to' work,  not  as  crea- 
tures only,  but  as  criminals;  it  is  part  of  our 
sentence,  which  idleness  daringly  defies.  (2.)  That 
uneasiness  and  weariness  with  labour  are  our  just 
punishment,  which  we  must  patiently  submit  to, 
and  not  complain  of,  since  they  are  less  than  our 
iniquity  deserves.  Let  not  us,  by  inordinate  care 
and  labour,  make  our  punishment  heavier  than  God 
has  made  it;  but  rather,  study  to  lighten  our  bur- 
then, and  wipe  off  our  sweat,  by  observing  Provi- 
dence in  all,  and  expecting  rest  shortly. 

2.  His  food  shall  from  henceforth’  become  (in 
comparison  with  what  it  had  been)  unpleasant  to 
him.  (1.)  The  matter  of  his  food  is  changed:  he 
must  now  eat  the  herb  of  the  field,  and  must  no 
longer  be  feasted  with  the  delicacies  of  the  garden 
of  Eden:  having  by  sin  made  himself  \\\:ethe beasts 
that  fierish,  he  is  justly  turned  to  be  a fellow-com- 
moner with  them,  and  to  eat  grass  as  oxen,  till  he 
know  that  the  heavens  do  rule.  (2.)  There  is 
a change  in  the  manner  of  his  eating  it;  in  sorrow, 
(xK  17.)  and  in  the  sweat  of  his  face,  (r'.  19.  )he 
must  cat  of  it.  Adam  could  not  but  eat  in  sorrow  all 
the  days  of  his  life,  remembering  the  forbidden 
frtiit  he  had  eaten,  and  the  guilt  and  shame  he  had 
contracted  by  it.  Observe  [1.]  That  human  life  is 
exposed  to  many  miseries  and  calamities,  which 
very  much  imbitter  the  poor  remains  cf  its  pleasure 
and  delights:  some  never  eat  with  pleasure,  (Job 
21.  25.)  through  sickness  or  melancholv;  all,  even 
the  best,  have  cause  to  eat  with  sorrow  for  sin;  and 
all,  even  the  happiest  in  this  world,  have  some 
allays  to  their  joy:  troops  of  diseases,  disasters,  and 
deaths,  in  various  shapes,  entered  the  world  with 
sin,  and  still  ravage  it.  [2.]  That  the  righteous- 
ness of  God  is  to  be  acknowledged  in  all  the  sad 
consequences  of  sin;  therefore  then  should  a living 
man  complain?  Yet,  in  this  part  of  the  sentence, 
there  is  also  a mixture  of  mercy;  he  shall  sweat, 
but  his  toil  shall  make  his  rest  the  more  welcome 
when  he  returns  to  his  earth,  as  to  his  bed;  he  shall 
grieve,  but  he  shall  not  starve;  he  shall  have  sor- 

1 row,  but  in  that  soitow  he  shall  e;.t  oread,  which 


40 


GENESIS,  III. 


shall  strengthen  his  heart  under  his  sorrows.  He 
is  not  sentenced  to  eat  dust  as  the  sei’pent,  only  to 
eat  the  herb  of  the  field. 

3.  His  life  also  is  but  short;  considering  how  full 
of  trouble  his  days  are,  it  is  in  favour  to  him,  that 
they  are  few;  yet’  death  being  dreadful  to  nature, 
(yea,  though  life  be  unpleasant,)  that  concludes  the 
sentence.  “Thou  shalt  to  the  ground  out 

of  which  thou  wast  taken;  thy  body,  that  part  of 
thee  which  was  taken  out  of  the  ground,  shall  re- 
turn to  it  again:  for  dust  thou  art.”  That  points  to, 
(1.)  The  first  original  of  his  body;  it  was  made  of 
the  dust,  nay,  it  was  made  dust,  and  was  still  so;  so 
that  there  needed  no  more  than  to  recall  the  grant 
of  immortality,  and  to  withdraw  the  power  which 
was  put  forth  to  support  it,  and  then  he  would,  of 
course,  return  to  dust.  Or,  (2.)  To  the  present 
corruption  and  degeneracy  of  his  mind;  Dust  thou 
cr^  that  is,  “Thy  precious  soul  is  now  lost  and 
buried  in  the  dust  of  the  body,  and  the  mire  of  the 
flesh;  it  was  made  spiritual  and  heavenly,  but  it  is 
become  carnal  and  earthy.  ” His  doom  is  therefore 
read;  “ To  dust  thou  shalt  return.  Thy  body  shall 
be  forsaken  by  thy  soul,  and  become  itself  a lump 
of  dust ; and  then  it  shall  be  lodged  in  the  grave,  the 
proper  place  for  it,  and  mingle  itself  with  the  dust 
of  the  earth,”  our  dust,  Ps.  104.  29,  Rarth  to  earth, 
dust  to  dust.  Observe  here,  [1.]  That  man  is  a 
mean  frail  creature,  little  as  dust,  the  small  dust  of 
the  balance;  light  as  dust,  altogether  lighter  than 
vanity;  weak  as  dust,  and  of  no  consistency,  our 
strength  not  the  strength  of  stones;  he  that  made 
us,  considers  it,  and  remembers  that  we  are  dust, 
Ps.  103.  14.  Man  is  indeed  the  chief  fiart  of  the 
dust  o f the  world,  Prov.  8.  26,  but  still  he  is  dust. 
2.]  That  he  is  a mortal  dying  creature,  and 
astening  to  the  grave.  Dust  may  be  raised,  for  a 
time,  into  a little  cloud,  and  may  seem  considerable 
while  it  is  held  up  by  the  wind  that  raised  it;  but 
when  the  force  of  that  is  spent,  it  falls  again,  and 
returns  to  the  earth  out  of  which  it  was  raised;  such 
a thing  is  man;  a great  man  is  but  a great  mass  of 
dust,  and  must  return  to  his  earth.  [3.]  That  sin 
brought  death  into  the  world;  if  Adam  had  not  sin- 
ned, he  had  not  died,  Rom.  5.  12.  God  intrusted 
Adam  with  a spark  of  immortality,  which  he,  by  a 
patient  continuance  in  well-doing,  might  have  blown 
up  into  an  everlasting  flame;  but  he  foolishly  blew 
it  out  by  wilful  sin:  and  now  death  is  the  wages  of 
sin,  and  sin  the  sting  of  death. 

We  must  not  go  off  from  this  sentence  upon  our 
first  parents,  wh4ch  we  are  all  so  nearly  concerned 
in,  and  feel  from,  to  this  day,  till  we  have  consider- 
ed two  things. 

First,  How  fitly  the  sad  consequences  of  sin  upon 
the  soul  of  Adam  and  his  sensual  race,  were  repre- 
sented and  figured  out  by  this  sentence,  and  per- 
haps were  more  intended  in  it  than  we  are  aware 
of.  Though  that  misery  only  is  mentioned,  which 
affected  the  body,  yet  that  was  a pattern  of  spiritual 
miseries,  the  curse  that  entered  into  the  soul.  1. 
The  pains  of  a woman  in  travail  represent  the  ter- 
rors and  pangs  of  a guilty  conscience,  awakened  to 
a sense  of  sin;  from  the’  conception  of  lust,  these 
sorrows  are  greatly  multiplied,  and,  sooner  or  later, 
will  come  upon  the  sinner  like  pain  upon  a woman 
in  travail,  which  cannot  be  avoided.  2.  The  state 
of  subjection  which  the  woman  was  reduced  to,  re- 
presents that  loss  of  spiritual  liberty  and  freedom 
of  will,  which  is  the  effect  of  sin.  The  dominion 
of  sin  in  the  soul  is  compared  to  that  of  a husband, 
Rom.  7.  1.  .5;  the  sinner’s  desire  is  towards  it,  for 
he  is  fond  of  his  slavery,  and  it  iniles  over  him.  3. 
The  curse  of  barrenness  which  was  brought  upon 
the  earth,  and  its  produce  of  briers  and  thoms,  are 
a fit  representation  of  the  bairenness  of  a corrunt 
and  sinful  soul  in  that  which  is  good,  and  its  fruit- 


' fulness  in  evil.  It  is  all  grown  over  with  thoms, 
j|  and  nettles  cover  the  face  of  it;  and  therefore  it  is 
Ij  nigh  unto  cursing,  Heb.  6.  8.  4.  The  toil  and 

' sweat  bespeak  the  difficulty  which,  through  the  in- 
firmity of  the  flesh,  man  labours  under,  in  the  ser- 
vice of  God,  and  the  work  of  religion;  so  hard  is  it 
now  become  to  enter  into  the  kingdom  of  heaven. 
5.  The  imbittering  of  his  food  to  him  bespeaks  the 
soul’s  want  of  the  comfort  of  God’s  favour,  which 
is  life,  and  the  bread  of  life.  6.  The  soul,  like  the 
I body,  returns  to  the  dust  cf  this  world,  its  tendency 
is  that  way;  it  has  an  earthy  taint,  John  3.  31. 

Secondly,  How  admirably  the  satisfaction  our 
Lord  Jesus  made  by  his  death  and  sufferings,  an- 
swered to  the  sentence  here  passed  upon  our  first 
parents!  1.  Did  travailing  pains  come  in  with  sin.^ 

, We  read  of  the  travail  of  Christ’s  soul,  Isa.  53,  11, 
and  the  pains  of  death  he  was  held  by,  are  called 
IShsLi,  Acts,  2.  24,  the  fiains  of  a woman  in  travail. 

\ 2.  Did  subjection  come  in  with  sin?  Christ  was 
! made  under  the  law.  Gal.  4.  4.  3.  Did  the  curse 

I come  in  with  sin?  Christ  was  made  a curse  for  us, 

! died  a cursed  death.  Gal.  3.  13.  4.  Did  thorns 
j come  in  with  sin?  He  was  crowned  with  thorns 
for  us.  5.  Did  sweat  come  in  with  sin?  He  sweat 
for  us,  as  it  had  been  great  drops  of  blood.  6.  Did 
sorrow  come  in  with  sin?  He  was  a man  of  sorrows, 
his  soul  was,  in  his  agony,  exceeding  sorrowful.  7 
Did  death  come  in  with  sin?  He  became  obedient 
unto  death.  Thus  is  the  plaster  as  wide  as  the 
wound;  blessed  be  God  for  Jesus  Christ! 

20.  And  Adam  called  his  wife’s  name 
Eve ; because  she  was  the  mother  of  all 
living. 

God  having  named  the  man,  and  called  him 
Adam,  which  signifies  red  earth;  Adam,  in  further 
token  of  dominion,  named  the  woman,  and  called 
\itY  Fve,  that  is,  life.  Adam  bears  the  name  of  the 
dying  body.  Eve  of  the  living  soul.  The  reason  of 
the  name  is  here  given,  some  think,  by  Moses  the 
historian,  others,  by  Adam  himself,  because  she 
was,  that  is,  was  to  be,  the  mother  of  all  living. 
He  had  before  called  her  Ishah,  woman,  as  a wife.: 
here  he  calls  her  Evah,  life,  as  a mother.  Now,  1. 
If  this  was  done  by  divine  direction,  it  was  an  in- 
stance of  God’s  favour,  and,  like  the  new  naming 
of  Abraham  and  Sarah,  it  was  a seal  of  the  cove'^- 
nant,  and  an  assurance  to  them,  that,  notwithstand- 
ing their  sin  and  his  displeasure  against  them  for  it, 
he  had  not  reversed  that  blessing  wherewith  he  had 
blessed  tliem.  Be  fruitful  and  multiply;  it  was  like- 
wise a confirmation  of  the  promise  now  made,  that 
the  Seed  of  the  woman,  of  this  woman,  should  break 
j the  serpent’s  head.  2.  If  Adam  did  it  of  himself, 
it  was  an  instance  of  his  faith  in  the  word  of  God: 
doubtless  it  was  not  done,  as  some  have  suspected, 

I in  contempt  or  defiance  of  the  curse,  but  rather  in 
a humble  confidence  and  dependence  upon  the 
blessing;  (1.)  The  blessing  of  a reprieve,  admiring 
j the  patience  of  God,  and  that  he  should  spare  such 
I sinners  to  be  the  parents  of  all  living,  and  that  he 
j did  not  immediately  shut  up  those  fountains  of  the 
I human  life  and  nature,  because  they  could  send 
j forth  no  other  than  polluted,  poisoned,  streams; 
i {2.)  The  blessing  of  a Redeemer,  the  promised 
heed,  to  whom  Adam  had  an  eye,  in  calling  his 
I wife  Five,  life;  for  he  should  be  the  life  of  all  the 
living,  and  in  him  all  the  families  of  the  earth  should 
be  blessed,  in  hope  of  which  he  thus  triumphs. 

21.  Unto  Adam  also,  and  to  his  wife,  did 
the  Lord  God  make  coats  of  skins,  and 
clothed  them. 

We  have  here  a further  instance  of  God’s  ca’e 
concerning  our  first  parents,  notwithstanding  thi  i 


47 


GENESIS,  in. 


sin.  Though  he  correct  his  disobedient  children, 
and  put  them  under  the  marks  of  his  displeasure, 
yet  he  does  not  disinherit  them,  but,  like  a tender 
father,  provides  the  herb  of  the  field  for  their  food, 
Vand  coats  of  skins  for  their  clothing;  thus  the  father 
pi’ovided  for  the  returning  prodigal,  Luke  15.  22, 

23.  If  the  Loi'd  had  been  pleased  to  kill  them,  he 
would  not  have  done  this  for  them.  Observe,  1. 

V That  clothes  came  in  with  sin;  we  had  had  no  oc-  | 
casion  for  them,  either  for  defence  or  decency,  if 
sin  had  not  made  us  naked,  to  our  shame.  Little 
reason  therefore  we  have  to  be  proud  of  our  clothes, 
which  are  but  the  badges  of  our  poverty  and  infa- 
my. 2.  That  when  God  made  clothes  for  our  first 
parents,  he  mado,  them  warm  and  strong,  but  coarse 
and  very  plain,  not  robes  of  scarlet,  liut  coats  of 
skin.  Their  clothes  were  made,  not  of  silk  and 
satin,  but  plain  skins,  not  trimmed,  nor  embroider- 
ed, none  of  the  ornaments  which  the  daughters  of 
Zion  afterwards  invented,  imd  prided  themselves 
in.  Let  the  poor  that  are  meanly  clad,  learn  hence 
not  to  complain;  having  food  and  a covering,  let 
them  be  content;  they  are  as  well  done  to,  as  Adam 
and  Eve  were:  and  let  the  rich  that  are  finely  clad, 
learn  hence  not  to  make  the  putting  on  of  apparel 
their  adorning,  1 Pet.  3.  3.  3.  That  God  is  to  be 

acknowledged  with  thankfulness,  not  only  in  giving 
us  food,  but  in  giving  us  clothes  also,  ch.  28.  20. 
The  loool  and  the  flax  are  his,  as  well  as  the  corn 
and  the  wine,  Hos.  2.  9.  4.  Those  coats  of  skin 

had  a significancy.  The  beasts  whose  skins  they 
were,  must  be  slain,  slain  before  their  eyes,  to  show 
them  what  death  is,  and  (as  it  is  Eccl.  3.  18.)  that 
they  may  see  that  they  themselves  are  beasts,  mor- 
tal, and  dying.  It  is  supposed  that  they  were  slain, 
not  for  food,  but  for  sacrifice,  to  typify  the  Great 
Sacrifice,  which  in  the  latter  end  of  the  world, 
should  be  offered  once  for  all : thus  the  first  thing 
that  died,  was  a sacrifice,  or  Christ  in  a figure,  who 
is  therefore  said  to  be  the  Lamb  slain  from  the 
foundation  of  the  world.  These  sacrifices  were  di- 
»dded  between  God  and  man,  in  token  of  reconcilia- 
, tfon;  the  flesh  was  offered  to  God,  a whole  burnt-of- 
' fering,  the  skins  were  given  to  man  for  clothing;  sig- 
nifying that  Jesus  Christ  having  offered  himself  to 
God  a sacrifice  of  a sweet-smelling  savour,  we  are  to 
clothe  ourselves  with  his  righteousness  as  with  a 
garment,  that  the  shame  of  our  nakedness  may  not 
appear.  Adam  and  Eve  made  for  themselves 
aprons  of  fig-leaves,  a covering  too  narrow  for  them 
to  wrap,  themselves  in.  Is.  28.  20.  Such  are  all  the 
rags  ojf  our  own  righteousness.  But  God  made  them 
coats  of  skins,  large,  and  strong,  and  durable,  and 
fit  for  them ; such  is  the  righteousness  of  Christ, 
''vfJherefore put  ye  on  the  Lord  Jesus  Christ. 

22.  And  the  Lord  God  said,  Behold,  the 
man  is  become  as  one  of  us,  to  know  good 
and  evil : and  now,  lest  he  put  forth  his  hand, 
and  take  also  of  the  tree  of  life,  and  eat,  and 
live  for  ever : 23.  Therefore  the  Lord  God 
sent  him  forth  from  the  garden  of  Eden,  to 
till  the  ground  from  whence  he  was  taken. 

24.  So  he  drove  out  the  man ; and  he  placed 
at  the  east  of  the  garden  of  Eden,  cheru- 
bims,  and  a flaming  styord  which  turned 
every  way,  to  keep  the  way  of  the  tree  of 
life. 

Sentence  being  passed  upon  the  offenders,  we 
have  here  execution,  in  part,  done  upon  them  im- 
mediately. Observe  here, 

I.  How  they  were  justly  disgraced  and  shamed 
lefore  God  and  the  holy  angels,  by  that  ironical 


upbraiding  of  them  with  the  issue  of  their  enter- 
prise, “ Behold,  the  man  is  become  as  one  of  us,  to 
know  good  and  evil.  A goodly  god  he  makes! 
Does  he  not?  See  what  he  has  got,  what  prefer- 
ments, what  advantages,  by  eating  forbidden  fruit!” 
This  was  said,  to  awaken  and  humble  them,  and  to 
bring  them  to  a sense  of  their  sin  and  folly,  and  to 
repentance  for  it,  that  seeing  themselves  thus 
wretchedly  deceived  by  following  the  Devil’s  coun- 
sel, they  miglit  henceforth  pursue  the  happiness 
God  sliould  offer,  in  the  way  he  should  prescribe. 
God  thus  Jills  their  faces  with  sha7ne,  that  they  may 
seek  his  name,  Ps.  83.  16.  He  puts  them  to  this 
confusion,  in  order  to  their  conversion.  True  peni- 
tents will  thus  upbraid  themselves,  “What  fruit 
have  I now  by  sin?  Rom.  6.  21.  Have  I gained 
what  1 foolishly  promised  myself  in  a sinful  way? 
No,  no,  it  never  proved  wh^d  it  pretended  to,  but 
the  contrary.” 

II.  How  they  were  justly  discarded,  and  shut  out 
of  ])aradise,  which  was  a part  of  the  sentence  im- 
plied in  that.  Thou  shalt  eat  the  herb  of  the  field. 
Here  we  have, 

1.  The  reason  God  gave  why  he  shut  him  out  cf 
paradise;  not  only  because  he  had  put  forth  his  hand, 
and  taken  of  the  tree  of  knowledge,  which  was  his 
sin ; but  lest  he  should  again  put  forth  his  hand,  and 
take  also  of  the  tree  of  life,  (which  is  now  forbid- 
den him  by  the  law,)  and  should  dare  to  eat  of  that 
tree,  and  so  profane  a divine  sacrament,  and  defy  a 
divine  sentence,  and  yet  flatter  himself  with  a con- 
ceit that  thereby  he  should  live  for  ever.  Obseiwe, 
(1.)  There  is  a foolish  proneness  in  those  that  have 
rendered  themselves  unwoithy  of  the  substance  of 
Christian  privileges,  to  catch  at  the  signs  and  sha- 
dows of  them.  Many  that  like  not  the  terms  of  the 
covenant,  yet,  for  their  reputation’s  sake,  are  fond 
of  the  seals  of  it.  (2.)  It  is  not  only  justice,  but 
kindness,  to  such,  to  be  denied  them;  for  by  usurp- 
ing that  which  they  have  no  title  to,  the affront 
God,  and  make  their  sin  the  more  heinous;  and  by 
building  their  hopes  upon  a wrong  foundation,  they 
render  their  conversion  the  more  diflicult,  and  their 
ruin  the  more  deplorable. 

2.  The  method  God  took,  in  giving  him  this  bill 
of  divorce,  and  expelling  and  excluding  him  from 
this  garden  of  pleasure.  He  turned  him  out,  and 
kept  him  out. 

(1.)  He  turned  him  out,  from  the  garden  to  the 
common.  This  is  twice  mentioned,  v.  23,  he  sent 
him  forth,  and  then,  v.  24,  he  drove  him  out.  God 
bade  him  go  out;  told  him  that  that  was  no  place 
for  him,  he  should  no  longer  occupy  and  enjoy  that 
garden:  but  he  liked  the  place  too  well  to  be  willing 
to  part  with  it,  and  therefore  God  drove  him  out, 
made  him  go  out,  whether  he  would  or  no.  This 
signified  the  exclusion  of  him,  and  all  his  guilty 
race,  from  that  communion  with  God,  which  was 
the  bliss  and  gloiy  of  paradise;  the  token  of  God’s 
favour  to  him,  and  his  delight  in  the  sons  of  men 
which  he  had  in  his  innocent  estate,  were  now  sus- 
pended; the  communications  of  his  grace  were 
withheld,  and  Adam  became  weak,  and  like  other 
men,  as  Samson  when  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord  was 
departed  from  him;  his  acquaintance  with  God  was 
lessened  and  lost,  and  that  correspondence  which 
had  been  settled  between  man  and  his  Maker,  was 
inteiTupted  and  broken  off.  He  was  driven  out,  as 
one  unworthy  of  this  honour,  and  incapable  of  this 
service.  Thus  he  and  all  mankind,  by  the  fall,  for 
feited  and  lost  communion  with  God. 

But  whither  did  he  send  him,  when  he  turned 
him  out  of  Eden?  He  might  justly  have  chased 
him  out  of  the  world.  Job  18.  18,  but  he  only  chased 
him  out  of  the  garden.  He  might  justly  have  cast 
him  do\vn  to  heU,  as  the  angels  that  sinned  were, 
when  they  Avere  shut  out  from  the  heavenly  para 


48 


GENESIS,  IV. 


d:5>e,  ‘2  Pet.  2.  4.  But  man  was  only  sent  to  till  the 
ground,  out  of  which  lie  was  taken.  He  v.'as  sent 
to  a place  of  toil,  not  to  a jjlace  of  torment.  He 
was  sent  to  the  gi’ound,  not  to  tlie  gra\  e;  to  the 
work-house,  not  to  the  dungeon,  not  to  the  prison- 
house;  to  hold  the  plough,  not  to  drag  the  chain. 
His  tilling  of  the  ground  would  be  recompensed  by 
his  eating  of  its  fruits;  and  his  converse  with  the 
e '.rth  whence  he  was  taken,  was  improveable  to 
good  purposes,  to  keep  him  humble,  and  to  remind 
him  of  his  latter  end.  Observe  then,  that  though 
cur  lirst  parents  were  excluded  from  the  privileges 
of  their  state  of  innocency,  \ et  they  were  not  alian- 
doned  to  despair;  God’s  thoughts  of  love  designing 
them  for  a second  state  of  probation  upon  new  terms. 

(2.)  He  kefit  him  out,  and  forbade  him  all  hopes 
of  a re-entry;  for  he  filaced  at  the  east  of  the  garden 
of  Eden  a det  ichment  of  cherubims.  God’s  hosts, 
armed  with  a dreadful  and  irresistible  power,  re- 
pi-esented  by  flaming  swords  which  turned  every 
way,  on  that  side  the  garden  which  lay  next  to 
the  place  whither  Adam  was  sent,  to  keep  the  way 
that  led  to  the  tree  of  life,  so  that  he  could  not 
either  steal  or  force  an  entry;  for  who  can  make  a 
pass  against  an  angel  on  his  guard,  or  gain  a pass 
made  good  l)v  such  a force?  Now  this  intimated  to 
Adam,  [l.]  '4’hat  God  was  displeased  wdth  him; 
though  he  had  mercy  in  store  for  him,  yet,  at  pre- 
sent, he  was  angry  with  him,  was  turned  to  be  his 
enemy,  and  fought  against  him,  for  here  was 'a 
svjord  drawn,  Nuni.  22,  23,  and  he  was  to  him  a 
consuming  lire,  for  it  was  a flaming  sword.  [2.] 
'I'hat  the  angels  were  at  war  with  him ; no  peace 
with  the  iieavenly  hosts,  while  he  was  in  rebellion 
against  their  Lord  and  our’s.  [3.  ] That  the  way 
to  the  tree  of  life  was  shut  up,  namely,  that  way 
which,  at  first,  he  was  put  into,  the  way  of  spotless 
innocency.  It  is  not  said  that  the  cherubims  were 
set  to  keep  him  and  his  for  ever  from  the  tree  of 
life:  (thanks  be  to  God,  there  is  a paradise  set  be- 
fore us,  and  a tree  of  life  in  the  midst  of  it,  which 
we  rejoice  in  the  hopes  of;)  but  they  were  set  to 
keep  th  it  way  of  the  tree  of  life,  which  hitherto 
they  had  been  in,  that  is,  it  was  henceforward  in 
vain  for  him  and  his  to  expect  righteousness,  life, 
{'.nd  happiness,  by  virtue  of  the  first  covenant,  for  it 
was  irrejjarablv  broken,  and  could  never  be  pleaded, 
nor  any  benefit  taken  by  it.  The  command  of  that 
covenant  being  broken,  the  curse'  of  it  is  in  full 
force;  it  leaves  no  room  for  repentance,  but  we  are 
all  undone,  if  we  be  judged  by  that  covenant.  God 
revealed  tb.is  to  Adam,  not  to  drive  him  to  despair, 
but  to  do  him  a service  by  quickening  him  to  look 
for  life  and  happiness  in  the  promised  Seed,  by 
whom  the  flaming  swmrd  is  removed.  God  and  his 
angels  are  reconciled  to  us,  and  a new  and  living 
wav  into  the  holiest  is  consecrated  and  laid  open 
for  us. 

CHAP.  IV. 

In  this  chapter,  we  have  both  the  uwrld  and  the  church  in 
a family,  in  a little  family,  in  Adam’s  family  ; and  a 
specimen  given  of  the  character  and  slate  of  both  in 
after-acres,  nay,  in  all  ages  to  the  end  of  time.  As  all 
mankind  were  represented  in  Adam,  so  that  great  dis- 
tinction of  mankind  into  saints  and  sinners,  godly  and 
wicked,  ttie  childreti  of  God  and  the  children  of  the 
wicked  one,  was  here  represented  in  Cain  and  Abel  ; 
and  an  early  instance  is  given  of  the  enmity  which  was 
lately  put  between  the  seed  of  the  woman  and  the  seed 
of  the  serpen'.  We  have  here,  I.  The  birth,  names,  and 
callincrs,  of  Cain  and  .'\hel,  v.  I,  2.  II.  Their  religion, 
and  different  success  in  it,  v.  3,  4.  and  part  of  v.  6.  III. 
Cain’s  aiwer  at  God,  and  the  reproof  of  him  for  that  an- 
ger, V.  5.. 7.  IV.  Cain’s  murder  of  his  brother,  and  the 
process  airainsi  him  for  that  murder.  The  murder  com- 
mitted, v.  8.  The  proceedings  against  him.  1.  Ilis  ar- 
raig-nment,  v.  9,  former  part.  2.  Ilis  plea,  v.  9,  latter 
part.  3.  Ilis  conviction,  v.  10.  4.  The  sentence  passed 
upon  him,  v.  11,  12.  5.  Ilis  complaint  against  the  sen- 


temce,  v.  13.  14.  6.  The  ratification  of  the  sentence,  v 

15.  7.  1 he  e.xecution  of  the  sentence,  v.  15,  16.  V 

The  family  and  posterity  of  Cain,  v.  17. .24.  VI  The 

birth  of  another  son  and  grandson  of  Adam,  v.  25,  26 

L A IS D \clam  knew  Eve  his  wife  ; aiu! 

EIl  she  conceived,  and  bare  Cain,  and 
said,  1 have  gotten  a man  from  the  LvORd. 
2.  And  she  again  bare  liis  brother  Abe]  : 
and  Abel  was  a keeper  of  sheep,  but  Cain 
was  a tiller  of  tlie  ground. 

Adam  and  Eve  had  many  sons  and  daughters,  ch. 

5.  4.  But  Cain  and  Abel  seem  to  ha\  e been  the 
two  eldest;  and  seme  think  they  were  twins,  and. 
as  Esau  and  Jacob,  the  elder  hated,  and  the  younger 
loved.  Though  God  had  cast  them  out  of  paradise, 
he  did  not  write  them  childless;  but  to  show  that  lie- 
had  ether  blessings  in  store  for  them,  he  preserved 
to  them  the  benefit  of  that  first  blessing  of  increase. 
Though  they  were  sinners,  nay,  though  they  felt 
the  humiliation  and  sorrow  rf  penit-^nts,  thev  did 
not  write  themselves  comfortless,  having  the  ])rc- 
mise  of  a Saviour  to  support  themselves  with.  We 
have  here, 

I.  The  names  of  their  two  sons.  1.  Cam  signi- 
fies possession;  for  Eve,  when  she  iiare  him,  said, 
with  joy  and  thankfulness,  and  great  exjiectaticn, 
/ have  gotten  a man  from  the  Lord.  Observe, 
Children  are  God’s  gifts,  and  he  must  be  acknow- 
ledged in  the  building  up  of  cur  families.  It  doubles 
anci  sanctifies  cur  comfort  in  them,  when  we  see 
them  coming  to  us  from  the  hand  of  God,  who  will 
not  forsake  the  works  and  gifts  of  liis  own  hand. 
Though  Eve  bare  him  with  the  sorrows  that  were 
the  consequence  of  sin,  yet  she  did  not  lose  the  sense 
of  the  mercy  in  her  pains.  Comforts,  though  allay- 
ed, ai’e  more  than  we  deserve;  and  therefore  our 
complaints  must  not  drown  our  thanksgivings.  Ma- 
ny suppose  that  Eve  had  a conceit  that  this  son  was 
the  promised  Seed,  and  that  therefore  she  thus  tri- 
umphed in  him;  it  may  indeed  be  read,  I have  got- 
ten a man,  the  Lord;  God-man.  If  so,  she  was 
wretchedly  mistaken,  as  Samuel,  when  he  said. 
Surely  the  Lord’s  anointed  is  before  me,  1 Sam.  16. 

6.  When  children  are  born,  who  can  foresee  what 
thev  will  prove ^ He  that  was  thought  to  be  a man, 
the  GoRT),  or,  at  least,  a man  from  the  Lord,  and 
for  his  service  as  priest  of  the  family,  became  an 
enemy  to  the  Lord.  The  less  we  exjiect  from  crea- 
tures, the  more  tolerable  will  disa])printments  be. 
2.  ./dbcl  signifies  vanity;  when  she  thought  she  had 
obtained  the  promised  Seed  in  Cain,  she  was  so  ta- 
ken up  with  that  i)Ossession,  that  another  son  was  as 
vanity  to  her.  To  those  who  have  an  interest  in 
Christ,  and  make  him  their  all,  other  things  are  as 
nothing  at  all.  It  intimates  likewise,  that  the  longer 
we  live  in  this  world,  the  more  w'c  may  see  of  the 
vanity  of  it;  what,  at  first,  we  are  fi  nd  of,  as  a pos- 
session, afterward  we  see  cause  to  be  dead  to,  as  a 
trifle.  The  name  given  to  this  son  is  put  upon  the 
whole  race,  Ps.  39.  5.  Every  man  is  at  his  best 
estate,  Abel,  vanity.  Let  us  labour  to  see  both  our- 
selves and  others  so.  Childhood  and  youth  are 
vanity. 

II.  The  employments  of  Cain  and  Abel. , Oliscrve, 
1.  They  both  had  a calling.  Though  they  were 
heirs  apparent  to  the  world,  their  birth  noble,  and 
their  possessions  large;  yet  they  were  not  brought 
up  in  idleness.  God  gave  their  father  a calling,  even 
in  innocenev,  and  he  gave  them  one.  Note,  It  is  the 
will  of  God  that  we  should  everv  one  of  us  have 
something  to  do  in  this  world.  Parents  ought  tc 
bring  up  their  children  to  business:  Give  them  a Bi- 
ble, and  a calling;  good  Mr.  Dodd;)  and  God 
be  with  them.  2.  Their  employments  were  difrer 


49 


GENESIS,  IV. 


«ut,  that  they  might  trade  and  exchange  with  one 
another,  as  there  was  occasion.  The  inen\bcrs  of 
the  body  politic  have  need  one  of  another;  and  mu- 
tual love  is  helped  by  mutual  commerce.  3.  Their 
employments  belonged  to  the  husbandman’s  calling, 
their  father’s  profession;  a needful  calling,  for  the 
king  himself  is  sein^ed  of  the  field,  but  a laborious 
calling,  which  required  constant  care  and  attend- 
ance: it  is  now  looked  upon  as  a mean  calling,  the 
floor  of  the  land  serve  for  vine-dressers,  and  hus- 
bandmen, Jer.  52.  16.  But  the  calling  was  fir  from 
being  a dishonour  to  them;  rather,  they  might  have 
been  an  honour  to  it.  4.  It  should  seem,  by  the  or- 
der of  the  story,  that  Abel,  though  the  younger  bro- 
ther, yet  entered  first  into  his  calling,  and,  probably, 
his  example  drew  in  Cain.  5.  Abel  chose  that  em- 
ployment which  most  befriended  contemplation  and 
devotion,  for,  to  these  a pastoral  life  has  been  look- 
ed upon  as  being  peculiarly  favourable.  Moses  and 
David  kept  sheep,  and  in  their  solitudes  conversed 
with  God.  Note,  That  calling  and  that  condition 
of  life  are  best  for  us,  and  to  be  chosen  by  us,  which 
are  best  for  our  souls;  that  which  least  exposes  us 
to  sin,  and  gives  us  most  opportunity  of  serving  and 
enjoying  God. 

3.  And  in  process  of  time  it  came  to  pass, 
that  Cain  brought  of  the  fruit  of  the  ground 
an  offering  unto  the  Lord.  4.  And  Abel, 
he  also  brought  of  the  firstlings  of  his  flock 
and  of  the  fat  thereof.  And  the  Lord  had 
respect  unto  Abel  and  to  his  offering : 5. 
But  unto  Cain  and  to  his  offering  he  had  not 
respect.  And  Cain  was  very  wroth,  and 
his  countenance  fell. 

Here  is, 

1.  The  devotion  of  Cain  and  Abel.  In  process  of 
time,  when  they  had  made  some  improvement  in 
their  respective  callings,  Heb.  At  the  end  of  days, 
either  at  the  end  of  the  year,  when  they  kept  their 
feasts  of  in-gathering,  or,  perhaps,  an  annual  fast 
in  remembrance  of  the  fall;  or,  at  the  end  of  the 
days  of  the  week,  the  seventh  day,  which  was  the 
sabbath — at  some  set  time,  Cain  and  Abel  brought 
to  Adam,  as  the  priest  of  the  family,  each  of  them 
an  offering  to  the  Lord;  for  the  doing  of  which  we 
have  reason  to  think  there  was  a divine  appoint- 
ment given  to  Adam,  as  a token  of  God’s  favour  to 
him,  and  his  thoughts  of  love  toward  him  and  his, 
notwithstanding  their  apostasy.  God  would  thus 
try  Adam’s  faith  in  the  promise,  and  his  obedience 
to  the  remedial  law;  he  would  thus  settle  a corre- 
spondence again  between  heaven  and  earth,  and  give 
shadows  of  good  things  to  come.  Observe  here,  1. 
That  the  religious  worship  of  God  is  no  novel  inven- 
tion, but  an  ancient  institution.  It  is  that  which  was 
from  the  beginning,  (1  John  1.  1.)  it  is  the,yoorf  old 
way,l&Y.  6.  16.  The  city  of  our  God  is  indeed  that 
joyous  city  whose  antiquity  is  of  ancient  days,  Isa. 
23.  7.  Truth  got  the  start  of  en-or,  and  piety  of 
profaneness.  2.  That  it  is  a good  thing  for  children 
to  be  well-taught  when  they  are  young,  and  trained 
up  betimes  in  religious  services,  that  when  they  be- 
come to  be  capable  of  acting  for  themselves,  they 
may,  of  their  own  accord,  bring  an  offering  to  God. 
In  this  of  the  jLorrf  parents  must  bring  up 

their  children,  Eph.  6.  4.  ch.  18.  19.  3.  That  we 
should  every  one  of  us  honour  God  with  what  we 
have,  according  as  he  has  prospered  us.  According 
as  their  employments  and  possessions  were,  so  they 
brought  their  offering.  See  1 Cor.  16.  1,  2.  Our 
merchandise  and  our  hire,  whatever  it  is,  must  be 
holiness  to  the  Lord,  "iio.  18.  He  must  have  his 
dues  of  it  in  works  of  piety  and  charity,  the  support 

VoL.  I. — G 


of  religion  and  the  relief  of  the  poor;  thus  we  must 
now  bi-ing  our  offering  with  an  upright  heart;  and 
vjith  such  sacrifices  L od  is  well-fileased.  4.  That 
hypocrites  and  evil  doers  may  be  found  going  as  far 
as  the  best  of  God’s  people  in  the  external  services 
of  religion.  Cain  brought  an  offering  with  Abel; 
nay,  Cain’s  offering  is  mentioned  first,  as  if  he  were 
the  more  forward  of  the  two.  A hypocrite  may, 
possibly,  hear  as  many  sermons,  say  as  many  {)ray- 
ers,  and  give  as  much  alms,  as  a good  Christian;  and 
yet,  for  want  of  sincerity,  come  short  of  acceptance 
with  God.  The  Pharisee  and  Publican  went  to  the 
temple  to  pray,  Luke  18.  10. 

II.  The  different  success  of  their  devotions.  That 
which  is  to  be  aimed  at  in  all  acts  of  religion,  is, 
God’s  acceptance;  we  speed  well  if  we  attain  that, 
I)ut  in  vain  do  we  worship  if  we  miss  of  that,  2 Cor. 
5.  9.  Perhaps  to  a stander-by,  the  sacrifices  of 
Cain  and  Abel  would  have  seemed  both  alike  good. 
Adam  accepted  them  both,  but  God  did  not,  who 
sees  not  as  man  secs.  God  had  respect  to  Abel  and 
to  his  offering,  and  showed  his  acceptance  of  it,  pro- 
bably, by  fire  from  heaven;  but  to  Cain  arid  to  his 
offering  he  had  not  respect.  We  are  sure  there  was 
a good  reason  for  this  difference;  the  Governor  of  the 
world,  though  an  absolute  sovereign,  does  not  act 
arbitrarily  in  dispensing  his  smiles  and  fi’owns. 

1.  There  was  a difference  in  the  characters  of  the 
persons  offering.  Cain  was  a wicked  man,  led  a bad 
life,  under  the  reigiiing  power  of  the  world  and  the 
flesh;  and  therefore  his  sacrifice  was  an  cfiownwa/ioTi 
to  the  Lord,  Prov.  15.  8,  a vain  oblation,  Isa.  1.  13. 
God  had  no  respect  to  Cain  himself,  and  therefore 
no  respect  to  his  offering,  as  the  manner  of  the  ex- 
pression intimates.  But  Abel  was  a righteous  man, 
he  is  called  righteous  Abel,  Matth.  23.  35,  his  heart 
was  upright,  and  his  life  was  pious;  he  was  one  of 
those  whom  God's  countenance,  beholds,  Ps.  11.  7. 
and  whose  prayer  is  therefore  his  delight,  Prov.  15. 
8.  God  had  respect  to  him  as  a holy  man,  and  there- 
fore to  his  offering  as  a holy  offering.  The  tree  must 
be  good,  else  the  froit  cannot  be  pleasing  to  the 
heart-searching  God. 

2.  There  was  a difference  in  the  offerings  they 
brought.  It  is  expressly  said,  Heb.  11.  4,  Abel’s 
was  a more  excellent  sacrifice  than  Cain’s;  either, 
(1. ) In  the  nature  of  it.  Cain’s  was  only  a sacrifice 
of  acknowledgement  offered  to  the  Creator;  the 
meat-offerings  of  the  fruit  of  the  ground  were  no 
more,  and,  for  aught  I know,  might  have  been  of- 
fered in  innocency:  but  Abel  brought  a sacrifice  of 
atonement,  the  blood  whereof  was  shed  in  order  to 
remission;  thereby  owning  himself  a sinner,  depre- 
c'^ting  God’s  wrath,  and  imploring  his  favour  in  a 
Mediator;  or,  (2.)  In  the  qualities  of  the  offering. 
Cain  brought  of  the  fruit  o f the  ground,  any  thing 
that  came  next  to  hand,  what  he  had  not  occasion 
for  himself,  or  what  was  not  marketable;  but  Abel 
was  curious  in  the  choice  of  his  offering;  not  the 
lame,  or  the  lean,  or  the  refuse,  but  the  firstlings 
of  the  flock,  the  best  he  had,  and  the  fat  thereof,  the 
best  of  those  best.  Hence  the  Hebrew  doctors  give 
it  for  a general  role,  that  every  thing  that  is  for  the 
name  of  the  good  God,  must  be  the  goodliest  and 
best.  It  is  fit  that  he  who  is  the  first  and  best  should 
ha\  e the  first  and  best  of  our  time,  strength,  and 
service. 

3.  The  great  difference  was  this,  that  Abel  offer- 
ed in  faith,  and  Cain  did  not.  There  was  a differ- 
ence in  the  pnnciple  upon  which  they  went.  Abel 
offered  with  an  eye  to  God’s  will  as  his  role,  and 
God’s  glorv  as  his  end,  and  in  dependence  upon  the 
promise  of  a Redeemer:  but  Cain  did  what  he  did, 
onlv  for  cempany’s  sake,  or  to  save  his  credit,  not 
in  faith,  and  so  it  turned  into  sin  to  him.  Abel  was 
a penitent  believer,  like  the  Publican  that  went  away 
justified:  Cain  was  unhumbled;  his  confidence  was 


50 


GENESIS,  IV 


within  himself;  he  was  like  the  Pharisee  who  glori-  ; 
fled  himself,  but  was  not  so  much  as  justified  before 
God. 

III.  Cain’s  displeasure  at  the  difference  God  made  i 
between  his  sacrifice  and  Abel’s.  Cain  was  very  , 
wroth,  which  presently  appeared  in  his  very  looks,  i 
for  his  countenance  fell;  which  bespeaks,  not  so  | 
much  his  grief  and  discontent,  as  his  malice  and  rage,  j 
His  sullen  churlish  countenance,  and  a down-look,  ; 
betrayed  his  passionate  resentments:  he  carried  ill-  : 
nature  in  his  face,  and  the  show  of  his  countenance  \ 
witnessed  against  him.  This  anger  bespeaks,  1.  His 
enmity  to  God,  and  the  indignation  he  had  conceived 
against  him  for  making  such  a difference  between 
his  offering  and  his  brother’s.  He  should  have  been  ! 
angry  at  himself  for  his  own  infidelity  and  hypocri-  j 
sy,  by  which  he  had  forfeited  God’s  acceptance;  and  ' 
his  countenance  should  have  fallen  in  repentance  and  ' 
holy  shame,  as  the  Publican’s,  who  would  not  lift  u}i  \ 
HO  much  as  their  eyes  to  heaven,  Luke  18.  13.  But  j 
instead  of  that,  he  flies  out  against  God,  as  if  he  j 
were  partial  and  unfair  in  distributing  his  smiles  and 
frowns,  and  as  if  he  had  done  him  a deal  of  wrong. 
Note,  It  is  a certain  sign  of  an  unhumbled  heart,  to 
quarrel  with  those  rebukes  which  we  have,  by  our 
own  sin,  brought  upon  ourselves.  The  foolishness 
of  man  fierverteth  his  way,  and  then,  to  make  bad 
worse,  Im  heart  fretteth  against  the  Lord,  Prov.  19. 

3.  2.  His  envy  of  his  brother  who  had  the  honour 

to  be  publicly  owned.  Though  his  brother  had  no 
thought  of  having  any  slur  put  upon  him,  nor  did 
now  insult  over  him  to  provoke  him,  yet  he  conceiv- 
ed a hatred  of  him  as  an  enemy,  or,  which  is  equi- 
valent, a rival.  Note,  (1.)  It  is  common  for  those 
who  have  rendered  themselves  unworthy  of  God’s 
favour  by  their  presumptuous  sins,  to  have  indigna-  ! 
tion  against  those  who  are  dignified  and  distinguish-  i 
edbyit.  The  Pharisees  walked  in  this  way  of  Gain, 
when  they  neither  entered  into  the  kingdom  of  God  j 
themselves,  nor  suffered  those  that  were  entering,  to  j 
go  in,  Luke  11.  52.  Their  eye  is  evil,  because  their  i 
master’s  eye,  and  the  eye  of  their  fellow-servants,  ^ 
are  good.  (2.)  Envy  is  a sin  that  commonly  carries  , 
with  it,  both  its  own  discovery  in  the  paleness  of  the 
looks,  and  its  own  punishment  in  the  rottenness  of 
the  bones. 


6.  And  the  Lord  said  unto  Cain,  Why 
art  thou  wrotli  ? And  why  is  thy  countenance 
fallen  ? 7.  If  thou  doest  well,  shalt  thou  not 

be  accepted  ? And  if  thou  doest  not  well,  sin 
lieth  at  the  door.  And  unto  thee  shall  be  his 
desire,  and  thou  shalt  rule  over  him. 


God  is  here  reasoning  with  Cain,  to  convince  him  j 
of  the  sin  and  folly  of  his  anger  and  discontent,  and 
to  bring  him  into  a good  temper  again,  that  further  ! 
mischief  might  be  prevented.  It  is  an  instance  of  I 
God’s  patience  and  condescending  goodness,  that  he 
would  deal  thus  tenderly  with  so  bad  a man,  in  so 
bad  an  affair.  He  is  not  willing  that  any  should  per- 
ish, hut  that  all  should  come  to  repentance.  Thus 
the  father  of  the  prodigal  argued  the  case  with  the 
elder  son,  Luke  15.  28,  &c.  And  God  with  those 
Israelites,  who  said,  The  way  of  the  l.ord  w not  equal, 
Ezek.  18.  25.  God  puts  Cain  himself  upon  inquir- 
ing into  the  cause  of  his  discontent,  and  considering 
whether  it  were  indeed  a just  cause.  Why  is  thy 
countenance  fallen?  Observe, 


I.  That  God  takes  notice  of  all  our  sinful  passions 
and  discontents.  There  is  not  an  angry  look,  an  en- 
vious look,  or  a fretful  look,  that  escapes  his  observ- 
ing eye. 

II.  That  most  of  our  sinful  heats  and  disquietudes 
V ould  soon  vanish  before  a strict  and  impartial  in- 


quiry into  the  cause  of  them.  “ Why  am  I wroth? 
Is  there  a real  cause,  a just  cause,  a proportionable 
cause  for  it.^  Why  am  I so  soon  angry?  W'  hy  so  very 
angry,  and  so  implacable?”  To  reduce  Cain  to  his 
riglit  mind  again,  it  is  here  made  evident  to  him, 

1.  That  he  had  no  reason  to  be  angry  at  God,  for 
that  he  had  proceeded  according  to  the  settled  and 
invariable  rules  ( f government,  suited  to  a state  cf 
probation.  He  sets  before  men  life  and  death,  the 
blessing  and  the  curse;  and  then  renders  to  them  ac- 
cording to  their  works,  and  differences  them  accord- 
ing as  they  difference  themselves — so  shall  their 
docin  be.  The  rules  are  just,  and  therefore  his  ways, 
according  to  those  rules,  must  needs  be  equal,  and 
he  will  be  justified  when  he  speaks. 

(1. ) Gocl  sets  before  Cain  life  and  a blessing.  “ If 
thou  doest  well,  shalt  thou  not  be  accepted?  No 
doubt,  thou  shalt,  nay,  thou  knowest  thou  shalt;” 
either,  [I.  ] “ If  thou  hadst  done  well,  as  thy  bn  ther 
did,  thou  shouldest  have  been  accepted,  as  he  was.” 
Goef  is  no  respecter  of  persons,  hates  nothing  that 
he  has  made,  denies  his  favour  to  none  but  those 
who  have  forfeited  it,  and  is  an  enemy  to  none  but 
those  who,  by  sin,  have  made  him  their  enemy:  so 
that  if  we  come  short  of  acceptance  with  him,  v e 
must  thank  ourselves,  the  fault  is  whcllv  < ur  own; 
if  we  had  done  our  duty,  we  had  not  missed  cf  his 
mercy.  This  will  justify  God  in  the  destruction  ( f 
sinners,  and  will  aggravate  their  ruin;  there  is  net  a 
damned  sinner  in  hell,  but,  if  he  hacl  dene  well,  as 
he  might  have  done,  had  been  a glorified  saint  in 
heaven.  Every  mouth  will  shortly'^  be  st(  pped  with 
this.  Or,  [2.]  “If  woto  thou  do  well,  if  thou  re- 
pent of  thy  sin,  reform  thy  heart  and  life,  and  bring 
thy  sacrifice  in  a better  manner,  if  thou  net  only  do 
that  w'hich  is  good,  but  do  it  well;  thou  shalt  yet  be 
accepted,  thy  sin  shall  be  pardoned,  thy  comfort  and 
honour  restored,  and  all  shall  be  well.”  Eee  here 
the  effect  cf  a Mediator’s  interposal  between  God 
and  man;  we  do  not  stand  upon  the  footing  rf  the 
first  covenant,  which  left  no  room  f(  r repentance, 
but  God  is  come  upon  new  terms  with  us.  Though 
we  have  offended,  if  we  repent  and  return,  we  shall 
find  mercy.  See  how  early  the  gospel  was  preached, 
and  the  benefit  of  it  here  offered  even  to  one  of  the 
chief  of  sinners.  - 

(2. ) He  sets  before  him  death  and  a curse.  “ But 
if  not  well,”  that  is,  “Seeing  thou  didst  not  dc 
well,  not  offer  in  faith,  and  in  a right  manner;  sin 
lies  at  the  door,'’  that  is,  “sin  was  imputed  to  thee, 
and  thou  \vast  frowned  upon  and  rejected  as  a sinner. 
So  high  a charge  had  not  been  laid  at  thy  door,  ii 
thou  hadst  not  brought  it  upon  thyself,  bv  not  doing 
well.”  Or,  as  it  is  commonly  taken,  “If  new  thou 
dost  not  do  w’ell,  if  thou  persist  in  this  wrath,  and, 
instead  of  humbling  thyself  before  God,  harden 
thyself  against  him;  sin  lies  at  the  door,"  that  is, 

[ 1.  ] Further  sin.  “Now  that  anger  is  in  thy  heart, 
murder  is  at  the  door.”  The  way  of  sin  is  down- 
hill, and  men  go  from  bad  to  worse.  They  who  do 
not  saorifioc  vrell,  but  are  careless  and  remiss  in 
their  devotion  to  God,  expose  themselves  to  the 
worst  temptations;  and  perhaps  the  most  scanda- 
lous sin  lies  at  the  door.  They  who  do  not  keep 
God’s  ordinances,  are  in  danger  of  committing  a.ll 
abominations.  Lev.  18.  30.  Or,  [2.]  1 he  punish- 
ment of  sin.  So  near  akin  are  sin  and  punishment, 
that  the  same  word  in  Hebrew  signifies  both.  If  sin 
be  harboured  in  the  house,  the  curse  waits  at  the 
door,  like  a bailiff,  ready  to  arrest  the  sinner  when 
ever  he  looks  out.  It  lies  as  if  it  slept,  but  it  lies  at 
the  door  where  it  will  scon  be  awaked,  and  then  it 
will  appear  that  the  damnation  slumberc  1 not.  Sin 
will  fnd  thee  out.  Numb.  32.  23.  Yet  some  choose 
to  understand  this  also  as  an  intimation  of  mercy. 
“If  thou  doest  not  well,  sin,  that  is,  the  sin-ojfering, 
lies  at  the  door,  and  thou  mayest  take  the  benefit 


51 


GENESIS,  IV. 


of  it.”  The  same  word  signifies sm,  and  a sacrifice 
f;r  si?!.  “ Though  thou  hast  not  done  well,  yet  do 

net  desj)  tir;  the  remedy  is  at  hand;  the  proposition 
is  n t f ir  to  seek;  lay  hold  on  it,  and  the  iniquity  of 
the  holy  things  shall  be  forgiven  thee.”  Christ,  the 
great  sin-oftering,  is  said  to  stand  at  the  door.  Rev. 
S.  20.  And  those  well  deserve  to  perish  in  their 
sins,  that  will  not  go  to  the  door  for  an  interest  in  the 
sin-otTering.  All  this  considered,  Cain  had  no  rea- 
son to  je  angry  at  God,  but  at  himself  only. 

2.  He  shows  him  that  he  had  no  reason  to  be  an- 
gry at  his  brother;  “Unto  thee  shall  be  his  desire,  he 
shad  continue  his  respect  to  thee  as  an  elder  bro- 
ther, and  tliou,  as  the  first-ljorn,  shalt  rule  over  him 
as  much  as  ever.”  God’s  acceptance  of  Abel’s  of- 
fering did  not  transfer  the  birthright  to  him,  (which 
Cain  was  jealous  of,)  nor  put  upon  him  that  excel- 
lency of  dignity  and  excellency  of  power  which  are 
s lid  to  belong  to  it,  ch.  49.  3.  God  did  not  so  in- 
tend it;  Abel  did  not  so  interpret  it;  there  was  no 
d inger  of  its  being  improved  to  Cain’s  prejudice; 
why  then  sho  uld  he  be  so  much  exasperated  ? Ob- 
serve here,  (1.)  That  the  difference  which  God’s 
grace  m..kes,  docs  not  alter  the  distinctions  which 
God’s  providence  makes,  but  preserves  them,  and 
obliges  us  to  do  the  duty  which  results  from  them: 
believing  servants  must  be  obedient  to  unbelieving 
m isters.  Dominion  is  not  founded  in  grace,  nor  will 
religion  warrant  disloyalty  or  disrespect  in  any  re- 
Tti-n.  (2.)  Thatthe  jealousies  which  civil  powers 
h n e sometimes  conceived  of  the  true  worshippers 
of  God  as  dangerous  to  their  government,  enemies 
to  Cxsar,  and  hurtful  to  kings  and  provinces,  (on 
which  suspicion  persecutors  have  grounded  their 
rage  against  them,)  are  very  unjust  and  unreasona- 
ble. ^Vhatever  may  be  the  case  with  some  who  call 
themselves  Christians,  it  is  certain  that  Christians  in- 
deed are  the  best  subjects,  and  the  quiet  in  the  land; 
their  desire  is  toward  their  governors,  and  they  shall 
rule  over  them. 

8.  And  Cain  talked  with  Abel  his  bro- 
ther : and  it  came  to  pass,  when  they  were 
in  the  field,  that  Cain  rose  np  against  Abel 
his  brother,  and  slew  him. 

^^’'e  have  here  the  progress  of  Cain’s  anger,  and 
the  issue  of  it  in  Abel’s  murder;  which  may  be  con- 
sidered two  ways. 

I.  As  Cain’s  sin;  and  a scarlet,  crimson  sin  it  was, 
a sin  of  the  first  magnitude,  a sin  against  the  light 
and  law  of  nature,  and  which  the  consciences  even 
of  bad  men  have  startled  at.  See  in  it,  1.  The  sad 
effects  of  sin’s  entrance  into  the  world,  and  into  the 
hearts  of  men.  See  w’hat  a root  of  Ijitterness  the 
corrupt  nature  is,  which  bears  this  gall  and  worm- 
w'ood.  Adam’s  eating  for})idden  fniit  seemed  but  a 
little  sin,  but  it  opened  the  door  to  the  greatest.  2. 
A fruit  of  the  enmity  which  is  in  the  seed  of  the  ser- 
f.ent  against  the  seed  of  the  woman.  As  Abel  leads 
the  van  in  the  noble  army  of  martyrs,  Matth.  23. 
35,  so  Cain  stands  in  the  fre ntof  the  ignoble  army  of 
persecutors,  Jude  11.  So  early  did  he  that  was  afttr 
the  flesh,  fiersecute  him  that  was  after  the  spirit ; and 
so  it  is  now,  more  or  less.  Gal.  4.  29,  and  so  it  will  be, 
till  the  war  shall  end  in  eternal  salvation  of  all  the 
saints,  and  the  eternal  perdition  of  all  that  hate 
them.  3.  See  also  what  comes  of  eni^y,  hatred, 
malice,  and  all  uncharitableness;  if  they  be  indulged 
and  cherished  in  the  soul,  they  are  in  danger  of  in- 
\ ol\-ing  men  in  the  horrid  guilt  of  murder  itself. 
Rash  anger  is  heart-murder,  Matth.  5.  21,  22. 
Much  more  is  malice  so;  he  that  hates  his  brr  ther, 
IS  already  a murderer  before  God:  and  if  God  leave 
him  to  himself,  he  wants  nothing  but  an  opportunity 
< >f  being  a murderer  before  the  world. 

Many  were  the  aggravations  of  Cain’s  sin.  (1.)  It 


was  his  brother,  his  own  brother,  that  he  murdered; 
his  own  mother’s  son,  Ps.  50.  20,  whom  he  ought  to 
have  loved;  his  younger  brother,  whom  he  ought  to 
have  protected.  (2. ) He  was  a good  brother;  one 
who  had  never  done  him  any  wrong,  nor  given  him 
the  least  provocation,  in  word  or  deed,  but  one 
whose  desire  had  been  always  toward  him,  and  who 
had  been,  in  all  inst.mces,  dutiful  and  respectful  to 
him.  (3.)  He  had  fair  warning  given  him,  before, 
of  this;  God  himself  had  told  him  what  would  come 
of  it,  yet  he  persisted  in  his  barbarous  design.  (4.) 
It  should  seem  that  he  covered  it  with  a show  ot 
friendship  and  kindness.  He  talked  with  Abel  his 
brother,  treely  and  f.inuliarl}q  lest  he  should  suspect 
danger,  and  keep  out  of  his  reach.  Thus  Joab  kiss- 
ed Abner,  and  then  killed  him.  According  to  the 
Septuagint,*  he  said  to  Abel,  Let  us  go  into  the 
field;  if  so,  we  are  sure  Aliel  did  not  understand  it 
(according  to  the  modern  sense)  as  a challenge,  else 
he  would  not  have  accepted  it,  but  as  a brotherly 
invitation  to  go  together  to  their  work.  The  Chal- 
dee-Paraphrast  adds,  that  Cain,  when  they  were  in 
discourse  in  the  field,  maintained  that  there  was  no 
judgment  to  come,  no  future  state,  no  rewards  an.l 
punishments  in  the  other  world;  and  that  when  Abel 
spake  in  defence  of  the  truth,  Cain  took  that  occa- 
sion to  fall  upon  him.  However,  (5. ) That  which 
the  scripture  tells  us  was  the  reason  for  which  he 
slew  him,  was  a sufficient  aggravation  of  the  mur- 
der; it  ve'AS>because  his  own  works  were  evil,  and  his 
brother’s  righteous,  so  that  herein  he  showed  him- 
self to  be  of  that  wicked  one,  1 John  3.  12,  a child  of 
the  devil,  a.?,  being  an  tnemy  to  all  righteousness, 
even  in  his  own  brother;  and,  in  this,  employed  im- 
mediately by  the  destroyer.  Nay,  (6.)  In  killing 
his  brother,  he  directly  struck  at  God  himself;  for 
God  accepting  of  Abel  was  the  provocation  pretend- 
ed; and  for  that  very  reason  he  hated  Abel,  because 
God  loved  him.  (7.)  The  murder  of  Abel  was 
the  more  inhuman,  because  there  were  now  so  few 
men  in  the  world  to  replenish  it.  I’he  life  of  a man 
is  precious  at  any  time;  but  it  was  in  a special  man- 
ner precious  now,  and  could  ill  be  spared. 

II.  As  Abel’s  suffering.  Death  reigned  ever  since 
Adam  sinned,  but  w'e  read  not  of  any  taken  captive 
by  him  till  now;  and  now,  1.  The  first  that  dies,  is 
a saint,  one  that  was  accepted  and  beloved  of  God; 
to  show  that  though  the  promised  Seed  was  so  far 
to  destroy  him  that  had  the  power  of  death,  as  to 
save  believers  from  its  sting,  yet  that  still  they 
should  be  exposed  to  its  stroke.  The  first  that  went 
to  the  grave  went  to  heaven;  God  would  secure  to 
himself  the  first  fruits,  the  first-born  to  the  dead, 
that  first  opened  tlie  womb  into  another  world.  Let 
this  take  off’  the  terror  of  death,  that  it  was  betimes 
the  let  of  God’s  chosen,  which  alters  the  property 
of  it.  Nay,  2.  The  first  that  dies,  is  a martyr,  and 
dies  for  his  religion;  and  of  such  it  may  more  tnily 
be  said  than  of  soldiers,  that  they  die  in  the  field  of 
honour.  Abel’s  death  has  not  only  no  curse  in  it, 
but  it  has  a crown  in  it;  so  admirably  well  is  the 
property  of  death  altered,  that  it  is  not  only  be- 
come innocent  and  inofi'ensive  to  those  that  die  in 
C.hrist,  but  honourable  and  glorious  to  those  that  die 
for  him.  Let  us  not  think  it  strange  concerning  the 
fiery  trial,  nor  shrink  if  we  be  called  to  resist  unto 
blood;  for  we  know  there  js  a crown  of  life  for  all 
that  are  faithful  unto  death. 

9.  And  the  Lord  said  unto  Cain,  Where 
?'s  Abel  thy  brother  ? And  he  said,  I know 

* Ii  mny  boproppr  to  s'ate,  for  the  iiiformation  of  some  rcioJerg, 

! lliatihe  LXX,  or  Sepoiairint,  is  the  name  of  a G reek  version  of  the 
i Old  Tesiamenl,  supposed  to  he  the  woik  of  seventy-two  Jews  who 
1 ae  usually  called  in  around  number,  the  .Seventij,  iwd  who  made  this 
vorsioii,  at  the  desire  of  Ptolemy  Philadelphus,  about  200  years  bt. 

I fore  Christ. Christ  and  his  Apostles  usually  quote  from  this  vet . 

I sion.  Ed 


52 


GENESIS,  IV. 


not  \ Am  \ my  brother’s  keeper  ? 10.  And 
he  said,  What  hast  thou  done  ? The  voice 
of  thy  brother’s  blood  crieth  unto  me  from 
the  ground.  11.  And  now  art  thou  cursed 
horn  the  earth,  wliich  hath  opened  lier 
mouth  to  receive  thy  brother’s  blood  from 
thy  hand.  12.  When  thou  lillest  the  ground, 
it  shall  not  henceforth  yield  unto  tJiee  her 
strength  ; a fugitive  and  a vagabond  shalt 
thou  be  in  the  earth. 

We  have  here  a full  account  of  the  trial  and  con- 
demnation of  the  first  murderer;  civil  courts  of  ju- 
dicature not  being  yet  erected  for  this  purpose,  as 
they  were  afterward,  ch.  9.  6.  God  himself  sits 
Judge;  for  he  is  the  God  to  whom  vengeance  be- 
longs, and  who  will  be  sure  to  make  inquisition  for 
blood,  especially  the  blood  of  saints. 

Observe, 

I.  The  of  Cain;  The  Lord  said  unto 

Cain,  Where  is  Abel  thy  brother?  Some  think  Cain 
was  thus  examined,  the  next  sabbath  after  the  mur- 
der was  committed,  when  the  sons  of  God  came,  as 
usual,  to  present  themselves  before  the  Lord,  in  a re- 
ligious assembly,  and  Abel  was  missing,  whose 
place  did  not  use  to  be  empty ; for  the  God  of  heaven 
takes  notice  who  is  present  at,  and  who  is  absent 
from,  public  ordinances.  Cain  is  asked,  not  only 
because  there  was  just  cause  to  suspect  him,  he  hav- 
ing discovered  a malice  against  Abel,  and  having 
been  last  with  him,  but  because  God  knew  him  to 
be  guilty;  yet  he  asks  him,  that  he  might  draw  from 
him  a confession  of  the  crime;  for  those  who  would 
be  justified  before  God,  must  accuse  themselves; 
and  the  penitent  will  do  so. 

II.  Cain’s  plea;  he  pleads  not  guilty,  and  adds 
rebellion  to  his  sin.  For,  1.  He  endeavours  to  cover 
a deliberate  murder  with  a deliberate  We.-,  I know 
not.  He  knew  well  enough  what  was  become  of 
Abel,  and  yet  had  the  impudence  to  deny  it.  Tluis, 
in  Cain,  the  Devil  was  both  a murderer,  and  a liar, 
from  the  beginning.  See  how  sinners’  minds  are 
blinded,  and  their  hearts  hardened  by  the  deceit- 
fulness of  sin:  those  are  strangely  blind,  that  think 
it  possible  to  conceal  their  sins  from  a God  that  sees 
all;  and  those  are  strangely  hard,  that  think  it  desir- 
able to  conceal  them  from  a God  who  pardons  those 
only  that  confess.  2.  He  impudently  charges  his 
Judge  with  folly  and  injustice,  in  putting  this  ques- 
tion to  him.  Am  I my  brother's  keeper?  He  should 
have  humbled  himself,  and  have  said.  Am  not  I my 
brother's  murderer  ? But  he  flies  in  the  face  of  God 
himself,  as  if  he  had  asked  him  an  impertinent  ques- 
tion, which  he  was  no  way  obliged  to  ^ive  an  an- 
swer to,  “ Am  I my  brother's  keeper  ? Surely  he  is 
old  enough  to  take  care  of  himself,  nor  did  I ever 
take  any  charge  of  him.”  Some  think  he^  reflects 
on  God  and  his  providence,  as  if  he  had  said,  “Art 
not  thou  his  keeper.^  If  he  be  missing,  on  thee  be 
the  blame,  and  not  on  me,  who  never  undertook  to 
keep  him.”  Note,  a charitable  concern  for  our 
brethren,  as  their  keepers,  is  a great  duty,  which  is 
strictly  required  of  us,  but  is  generally  neglected  Ijy 
us.  They  who  are  unconcerned  in  the  affairs  of 
their  brethren,  and  takqnocare,  when  they  have 
opportunity,  to  prevent  their  hurt  in  their  bodies, 
goods,  or  good  name,  especially  in  their  sculs,  do, 
in  effect,  speak  Cain’s  language.  See  Lev.  19.  17. 
Phil.  2.  4. 

III.  The  conviction  of  Cain,  v.  10.  God  gave  no 
direct  answer  to  his  question,  but  rejected  his  plea 
as  false  and  frivolous;  “ What  hast  thou  done? 
Thou  makest  a light  matter  of  it;  but  hast  thou  con- 
sidered what  an  evil  thing  it  i^;  how  deep  the  stain, 
how  heavy  the  burthen,  of  this  guilt  is?  Thou 


thinkest  to  conceal  it;  but  it  is  to  no  purpose,  the 
evidence  against  thee  is  clear  and  incontestable,  the 
voice  of  thy  brother’s  blood  cries."  He  speaks  as  if 
the  blood  itself  were  both  witness  and  prosecutor; 
because  God’s  own  knowledge  testified  against  him, 
and  God’s  own  justice  demanded  satisfaction.  Ob- 
serve here,  1.  Murder  is  a crying  sin,  none  more  so. 
Blood  calls  for  blood,  the  blood  of  the  murdered  for 
the  blood  of  the  murderer;  it  cries,  in  the  dying 
words  C)f  Zechariah,  2 Chron.  24.  22.  The  Lord 
look  upon  it,  and  require  it;  or  in  those  of  the  souls 
under  the  altar.  Rev.  6.  10,  How  long.  Lord,  holy 
and  true  ? The  patient  sufferers  cried  for  pci.rdcn. 
Luther,  forgive  them  ; but  their  blood  cries  u r ven- 
geance. I'hough  they  hold  their  peace,  their  blood 
has  a loud  and  constant  cry,  which  the  ear  of  the 
righteous  God  is  always  open  to.  2.  The  blood  is 
said  to  cry  from  the  ground,  the  earth,  which  is 
said,  V.  11,  to  open  her  mouth  to  receive  his  brother's 
blood  from  his  hand.  The  earth  did,  as  it  were, 
blush  to  see  her  own  face  stained  witli  such  blood, 
and,  therefore,  opened  her  mouth  to  hide  that  which 
she  could  not  hinder.  When  the  heaven  revei.led 
his  iniquity,  the  earth  also  rose  up  against  h m,  (Job 
20.  27.)  and  groaned  for  being  thus  made  subject  to 
vanity,  Rom.  8.  20,  22.  Cain,  it  is  likely,  buried 
the  blood  and  the  body,  to  conceal  his  crime;  but 
murder  will  out.  He  did  not  bury  them  so  deep  ljut 
the  cry  of  them  reached  heaven.  3.  In  the  origi- 
nal, the  word  is  plural,  thy  brother’s  bloods,  ne  t only 
his  blood,  but  the  blood  of  all  those  that  might  ha\  e 
descended  from  him.  Or,  the  blood  of  all  the  seed 
of  the  woman,  who  should,  in  like  manner,  seal  the 
truth  with  their  blood:  Christ  puts  all  on  one  score, 
Matth.23.  35.  Or,  because  account  was  kept  ct 
every  drop  of  blood  shed.  How  well  is  it  for  us, 
that  the  blood  of  Christ  speaks  better  things  than 
that  of  Abel ! Heb.  12.  24.  Abel’s  blood  cried  for 
vengeance,  Christ’s  blood  cries  for  pardon. 

IV.  The  passed  upon  Cain,  And  now  art 

thou  cursed  from  the  earth,  v.  11.  Observe  here, 

1.  He  is  cursed,  separated  to  all  evil,  laid  under 
the  wrath  of  God,  as  it  is  revealed  from  heaven 
against  all  ungodliness  and  unrighteousness  of  men, 
Rom.  1.  18.  Who  knows  the  extent  and  weight  cf 
a divine  curse,  how  far  it  reaches,  how  deep  it  pier- 
ces? God’s  pronouncing  a man  cursed  makes  him 
so;  for  those  whom  he  curses,  are  cursed  indeed. 
The  curse  for  Adam’s  disobedience  terminated  on 
the  ground.  Cursed  is  the  ground  for  thy  sake  ; but 
that  for  Cain’s  rebellion  fell  immediately  upon  him- 
self, Thou  art  cursed  ; for  God  had  mercy  in  store 
for  Adam,  but  none  for  Cain.  We  have  all  deserv- 
ed this  curse,  and  it  is  only  in  Christ  that  believers 
are  saved  fn  m it,  and  inherit  the  blessing.  Gal.  3. 
10,  13. 

2.  He  is  cursed  from  the  earth.  Thence  the  cry 
came  up  to  God,  thence  the  curse  came  upon  Cain. 
God  could  have  taken  vengeance  by  an  immediate 
stroke  from  heaven,  by  the  sword  of  an  angel,  or  by 
a thunderbolt;  but  he  chose  to  make  the  earth  the 
avenger  cf  blood;  to  continue  him  upon  the  earth, 
and  not  immediately  to  cut  him  off,  and  yet  to  make 
even  that  his  curse.  The  earth  is  always  near  us. 
we  canrn  t fly  from  it;  so  that  if  that  be  the  execu 
tioner  of  divine  wrath,  it  is  unavoidable;  it  is  sm, 
that  is,  the  punishment  cf  sin,  lying  at  the  dooi 
Cain  found  his  punishment  there,  where  he  chose 
his  portion,  and  set  his  heart. 

Two  things  we  expect  from  the  earth;  and  by  this 
curse  both  are  denied  to  Cain,  and  taken  from  him, 
sustenance  settlement.  (1.)  Sustenance  out  of 
the  earth  is  here  withheld  from  him.  _ It  is  a curse 
upon  him  in  his  enjoyments,  and  particularly  in  his 
calling;  When  thou  tillest  the  ground,  it  shall  not 
henceforth  yield  unto  thee  her  strength.  Note, 
Every  creature  is  to  us  what  God  nuikes  it;  a c('m- 


53 


GENESIS,  IV. 


fort  or  a cross;  a blessing  or  a curse.  If  the  earth 
ield  not  her  strength  to  us,  we  must  therein  ac- 
nowledge  God’s  righteousness;  for  we  have  not 
yielded  our  strength  to  him.  The  ground  was  curs- 
ed before,  to  Adam,  but  it  was  now  doubly  cursed 
to  Cain.  That  part  of  it  which  fell  to  his  share, 
and  which  he  had  the  occupation  of,  was  made  un- 
fruitful and  uncomfortable  to  him  by  the  blood  of 
Abel.  Note,  The  wickedness  of  the  wicked  brings 
a curse  upon  all  they  do,  and  all  they  have,  Deut.  28. 
15,  tfc.  and  that  curse  imbitters  all  they  have,  and 
disappoints  them  in  all  they  do.  (2. ) Settlement  on 
the  earth  is  here  denied  him.  A fugitive  and  a va- 
gabond shalt  thou  be  in  the  earth.  By  this  he  was 
condemned.  [1  ] To  perpetual  disgrace  and  re- 
proach among  men.  It  should  be  ever  looked  upon 
as  a scandalous  thing  to  harbour  him,  converse  with 
him,  or  show  him  any  countenance.  And  justly  was 
a man  that  had  divested  himself  of  all  humanity,  ab- 
horred and  abandoned  by  all  mankind,  and  made 
infamous.  [2.]  To  perpetual  disquietude  and  hor- 
ror in  his  own  mind.  His  own  guilty  conscience 
should  haunt  him  wherever  he  went,  and  make  him 
Afagor-missabib,  a terror  round  about.  What  rest 
can  those  find,  what  settlement,  that  carry  their 
own  disturbance  with  them  in  their  bosoms  where- 
ever  they  go?  they  must  needs  be  fugitives,  that  are 
thus  tossed.  There  is  not  a more  restless  fugitive 
upon  earth,  than  he  that  is  continually  pursued  by 
his  own  guilt,  nor  a viler  vagabond  than  he  that  is  at 
the  beck  of  his  own  lusts. 

This  was  the  sentence  passed  upon  Cain;  and 
even  in  this  there  was  mercy  mixed,  inasmuch,  as 
he  was  not  immediately  cut  off,  but  had  space  given 
him  to  repent;  for  God  is  long-suffering  to  us- ward, 
not  willing  that  any  should  perish. 

13.  And  Cain  said  unto  the  Lord,  My 
punishment  is  greater  than  1 can  bear.  1 4. 
Beliold,  thou  hast  driven  me  out  this  day 
from  the  face  of  the  earth ; and  from  thy 
face  shall  I be  hid ; and  I shall  be  a fugitive 
and  a vagabond  in  the  earth ; and  it  shall 
come  to  pass,  that  every  one  that  findeth 
me,  shall  slay  me.  15.  And  the  Lord  said 
unto  him,  Therefore  whosoever  slayeth 
Cain,  vengeance  shall  be  taken  on  him  se- 
ven-fold. And  the  Lord  set  a mark  upon 
Cain,  lest  any  finding  him  should  kill  him. 

We  have  here  a further  account  of  the  proceed- 
ings against  Cain. 

I.  Here  is  Cain’s  complaint  of  the  sentence  pass- 
ed upon  him,  as  hard  and  severe.  Some  make  him 
to  speak  the  language  of  despair;  and  read  it,  Mine 
iniquity  is  greater  than  that  it  may  be  forgiven;  and 
so  what  he  says,  is  a reproach  and  affront  to  the 
mercy  of  God,  which  those  only  shall  have  the  be- 
nefit of,  that  hope  in  it.  There  is  forgiveness  with 
‘.he  God  of  pardons  for  the  greatest  sins  and  sinners; 
)ut  they  f 'I’feit  it,  who  despair  of  it.  Just  before, 
Cain  made  nothing  of  his  sin;  but  now,  he  is  in  the 
other  extreme:  Satan  drives  his  vassals  from  pre- 
sumption to  despair.  \\’’e  cannot  think  too  ill  of 
sin,  ])r  ivided  we  do  not  think  it  unpardonable.  But 
( aain  seems  rather  to  speak  the  langaiage  of  indigiia- 
tion;  M/  fiunishnient  is  greater  than  I can  bear; 
and  so,  what  lie  s lys,  is  a reproach  end  affront  to 
the  justice  of  (iod,  and  a complaint,  not  of  the 
greatness  of  his  sin,  but  of  the  extremity  of  his  pun- 
ishment, as  if  that  were  disproportionable  to  his 
.nerits.  Instead  of  justifying  God  in  the  sentence, 
he  condemns  him;  not  accepting  the  punishment  of 
liis  iniquity,  but  quarrelling  with  it.  Note,  Impeni- 
y-\t  unhumble  hearts  are  therefore  not  reclaimed 


by  God’s  rebukes,  because  they  think  themselves 
wronged  by  them;  and  it  is  an  evidence  of  great 
hardness  to  be  more  concerned  about  our  sufferings 
than  about  our  sins.  Pharaoh’s  care  was  concern- 
ing this  death  only,  not  this  sin,  Exod.  10.  17 ; so 
was  Cain’s  here.  He  is  a living  man,  and  yet  com- 
plains of  the  punishment  of  his  sin,  Lam.  3.  39.  He 
thinks  himself  rigorously  dealt  with,  when  really 
he  is  favourably  treated;  and  he  cries  out  of  wrong, 
when  he  has  more  reason  to  wonder  that  he  is  out  of 
hell.  Woe  unto  him  that  thus  strives  with  his  Ma- 
ker, and  enters  into  judgment  with  his  judge! 

Now,  to  justify  this  complaint,  obseiwe  his  des- 
cants upon  the  sentence.  1.  He  sees  himself  ex- 
cluded by  it  from  the  favour  of  God;  and  concludes 
that,  being  cursed,  he  was  hid  from  God’s  face; 
which  is  indeed  the  true  nature  of  God’s  curse; 
damned  sinners  find  it  so,  to  whom  it  is  said.  Depart 
from  me,  ye  cursed.  Those  are  cursed  indeed, 
that  are  for  ever  shut  out  from  God’s  love  and  care, 
and  from  all  hopes  of  his  grace.  2.  He  sees  him- 
self expelled  from  all  the  comforts  of  this  life;  and 
concludes  that,  being  a fugitive,  he  was,  in  effect, 
driven  out  this  day  from  the  face  of  the  earth.  As 
good  have  no  place  on  earth,  as  not  have  a settled 
place.  Better  rest  in  the  grave,  than  not  rest  at  all. 
3.  He  sees  himself  excommunicated  by  it,  and  cut 
off  from  the  church,  and  forbidden  to  attend  on  pub- 
lic ordinances.  His  hands  being  full  of  blood,  he 
must  bring  no  more  vain  oblations,  Isa.  1.  13,  15. 
Perhaps  this  he  means,  when  he  complains  that  he 
was  driven  out  from  the  face  of  the  earth,  for,  be- 
ing shut  out  of  the  church,  which  none  had  yet  de- 
serted, he  was  hid  from  God's  face,  being  not 
admitted  to  come  with  the  sons  of  God  to  present 
himself  before  the  Lord.  4.  He  sees  himself  ex- 
posed by  it  to  the  hatred  and  ill-will  of  all  mankind. 
It  shall  come  to  pass,  that  every  one  that  fnds  me, 
shall  slay  me.  Wherever  he  wanders,  he  goes  in 
peril  of  his  life,  at  least  he  thinks  so;  and  like  a 
man  in  debt,  thinks  every  one  he  meets,  a bailiff. 
There  were  none  alive  but  his  near  relations;  yet 
even  of  them  he  is  justly  afraid,  who  had  himself 
been  so  barbarous  to  his  brother.  Some  re.ad  it. 
Whatsoever  findifs  me,  shall  slay  me;  not  only,  Who- 
soever among  men,  but  Whatsoever  among  all  the 
creatures:  seeing  himself  thrown  out  of  God’s  pro- 
tection, he  sees  the  whole  creation  armed  against 
him.  Note,  Unpardoned  guilt  fills  men  with  con- 
tinual terrors,  Prov.  28.  1.  Job  15.  20,  21.  Ps.  53.  5. 
It  is  better  to  fear  and  not  sin,  than  to  sin  and  then 
fear.  Dr.  Lightfoot  thinks  this  word  of  Cain  should 
be  read  as  a wish:  Mow,  therefore,  let  it  be  that  any 
that  finds  me,  may  hill  me.  Being  bitter  in  his 
soul,  he  longs  for  death,  but  it  comes  not.  Job  3.  20 
...22.  as  those  under  spiritual  torments  do.  Rev.  9. 
5,  6. 

II.  Here  is  God’s  confirmation  of  the  sentence; 
for  when  he  judyes,  he  will  overcome,  xk  15.  Ob- 
serve, 1.  How  Cain  is  protected  in  wrath  by  this  de- 
clan  tion,  notified,  we  may  suppose,  to  all  that  little 
world  which  was  then  in  being.  Whosoever  slaveth 
Cain,  vengeance  shall  be  taken  on  him  sex’en-fold ; 
because  thereby  the  sentence  he  was  under  (that  he 
should  lie  a fugitive  and  a vagabond)  would  be  de- 
feated. Condemned  prisoners  are  under  the  special 
protection  of  the  I iw;  they  that  are  appointed  sacri- 
fices to  public  justice,  must  not  be  sacrificed  to  pri- 
vate revenge.  God  having  said,  in  Cain’s  case. 
Vengeance  is  mine,  I will  repay,  it  had  been  a dar- 
ing usurpation  for  any  man  to  take  the  sword  out  of 
G"d’s  hand,  a contempt  put  upon  an  express  de- 
cl  irati'^n  of  God’s  mind,  and  therefore,  avenged 
seven-fold.  Note,  God  has  wise  and  holy  ends  in 
protecting  and  pr'^longing  the  lives  even  of  very 
wicked  men.  God  deals  with  some,  according  to 
that  prayer,  Ps.  59.  11,  Slay  t.heen  not,  lest  my 


54 


GENESIS,  IV. 


fieofilt  forget;  scatter  them  by  thy  ponyer.  Had 
Cain  been  slain  immediately,  he  had  been  forgotten, 
Eccl.  8.  10;  but  now  he  In'es,  a more  fearful  and 
lasting  monument  of  God’s  justice,  hanged  in  chains, 
as  it  were.  2.  How  he  is  marked  in  wrath;  'I he 
Lord  set  a mark  upon  Cain,  to  distinguish  him  from 
the  rest  of  mankind,  and  to  notify  that  he  was  the 
man  that  murdered  his  brother,  whom  nobody  must 
hurt,  but  every  body  must  hoot  at.  God  stigma- 
tized him,  (as  some  malefactors  are  burnt  in  the 
cheek,)  and  put  upon  him  such  a visible  and  indeli- 
ble mark  of  infamy  and  disgrace,  as  would  make 
all  wise  people  shun  him,  so  that  he  could  not  be 
otherwise  than  a fugitive  and  a vagabond,  and  the 
offsccuring  of  all  things. 

16.  And  Cain  went  out  from  the  pre- 
sence of  the  Lord,  and  dwelt  in  the  land 
of  Nod,  on  the  east  of  Eden.  17.  And 
Cain  knew  his  wife ; and  she  conceived, 
and  bare  Enoch : and  he  builded  a city, 
and  called  the  name  of  the  city,  after  the 
name  of  his  son,  Enoch.  18.  And  unto 
Enoch  was  born  Irad : and  Irad  begat  Me- 
hujael : and  Mehujael  begat  Methusael : 
and  Methusael  begat  Lamech. 

We  have  here  a further  account  of  Cain,  and 
what  became  of  him  after  he  was  rejected  of  God. 

I.  He  tamely  submitted  to  that  part  of  his  sen- 
tence, by  which  he  was  hid  from  God’s  face.  For, 
(v.  16.)  he  went  out  from  the  presence  of  the  Lord, 
that  is,  he  willingly  renounced  God  and  religion, 
and  was  content  to  forego  the  privileges,  so  that  he 
might  not  be  under  its  precepts.  He  forsook  Ad- 
am’s family  and  altar,  and  cast  off  all  pretensions  to 
the  fear  of  God,  and  never  came  among  good  peo- 
ple, nor  attended  on  God’s  ordinances,  any  more. 
Note,  Hypocritical  professors,  that  have  dissembled 
and  trifled  with  God  Almighty,  are  justly  left  to 
themselves,  to  do  something  that  is  grossly  scan- 
dalous, and  so  throw  off  that  form  of  godliness  which 
they  have  been  a reproach  to,  and  under  colour  of 
which  they  have  denied  the  power  of  it.  Cain 
went  out  now  from  the  presence  of  the  Lord,  and 
we  never  find  that  he  came  into  it  again,  to  his 
comfort.  Hell  is  destruction  from  the  presence  of 
the  Lord,  2Thes.  1.  9.  It  is  a perpetual  banishment 
from  the  fountain  of  all  good.  This  is  the  choice 
of  sinners;  and  so  shall  their  doom  be,  to  their  eter- 
nal confusion. 

II.  He  endeavoured  to  confront  that  part  of  the 
sentence  by  which  he  was  made  a fugitive  and  a va- 
gabond, for, 

1.  He  chose  his  land.  He  went  and  dwelt  on  the 
east  of  Rden,  somewhere  distant  from  the  place 
where  Adam  and  his  religious  family  resided,  dis- 
tinguishing himself  and  his  accursed  generation 
from  the  holy  seed,  his  camp  from  the  camp  of  the 
saints  and  the  beloved  city.  Rev.  20.  9.  On  the  east 
of  Eden,  the  cherubim  were,  with  the  flaming 
sword;  ch.  3.  24.  there  he  chose  his  lot,  as  if  to  defy 
the  terrors  of  the  Lv)rd.  But  his  attempt  to  settle 
was  in  vain;  for  the  land  he  dwelt  in,  was  to  him 
the  land  of  Pfod,  that  is,  shaking,  or  trembling,  ])e- 
cause  of  the  continual  restlessness  and  uneasiness  ('f 
his  own  spirit.  Note,  Those  that  depart  from  God, 
cannot  find  rest  any  where  else.  When  Cain  went 
out  from  the  presence  of  the  Lord,  he  never  rested 
after.  Those  that  shut  themselves  out  of  Heaven, 
abandon  themselves  to  a perpetu  il  trembling; 
“ Return  therefore  to  thy  rest,  O my  soul,  to  thy 
rest  in  (iod;  else  thou  art  for  ever  restless.” 

2.  He  builded  him  a city  for  a habit  ition,  v.  17. 
He  was  building  a city,  so  some  read  it,  ever  build- 


ing it,  but,  a curse  being  upon  him  and  the  work  of 
his  hands,  he  could  not  finish  it.  Or,  as  we  read 
it,  he  builded  a city,  in  token  of  a fixed  separation 
from  the  church  of  God,  to  which  he  had  no 
thoughts  of  ever  returning.  This  city  was  to  be  the 
head  quarters  of  the  apostasy.  Observe  here,  (1.) 
Cain’s  defiance  of  the  divine  sentence.  God  said  he 
should  be  a fugitive  and  a vagabond;  had  he  re- 
pented and  humbled  himself,  that  curse  might  have 
turned  into  a blessing,  as  that  of  the  tribe  of  Levi 
was,  that  they  should  be  divided  in  Jacob,  and  scat- 
tered in  Israel;  but  his.impenitent  unhumbled  heart 
walking  contrary  to  God,  and  resolving  to  fix,  in 
spite  of  heaven,  that  which  might  have  been  a 
l)lessing,  turned  into  a curse.  (2. ) See  what  was 
Cain’s  choice,  after  he  had  forsaken  God;  he  pitched 
mon  a settlement  in  this  world,  as  his  rest  for  ever. 
They  who  looked  for  the  heavenly  city,  on  earth, 
chose  to  dwell  in  tabernacles;  but  Cain,  as  one  that 
minded  not  that  city,  built  him  one  on  earth.  They 
that  are  cursed  of  God,  are  apt  to  seek  their  settle- 
ment and  satisfaction  here  below,  Ps.  17.  14.  (3.) 
See  what  method  Cain  took  to  defend  himself  against 
the  terrors  with  which  he  was  perpetually  haunted. 
He  undertook  this  building,  to  divert  his  thoughts 
from  the  consideration  of  his  own  misery,  and  to 
drown  the  clamours  of  a gnilrt  conscience  w'ith  the 
noise  of  axes  and  hanmiers.  Thus  many  baffle  their 
convictions,  by  thrusting  themselves  into  a hurry  of 
worldly  business.  (4. ) See  how  wicked  people  often 
get  the  start  of  God’s  people,  and  out-go  them  in 
outward  prosperity.  Cain  and  his  cursed  race  dwell 
in  a city,  while  Adam  and  his  blessed  family  dwell 
in  tents;  we  cannot  judge  of  love  or  hatred  by  all 
that  is  before  tis,  Eccl.  9.  1,  2. 

3.  His  family  was  also  built  up.  Here  is  an  ac- 
count of  his  posteiity,  at  least,  the  heirs  rf  his 
family,  for  seven  generations.  His  son  Knoch; 
of  the  same  name,  but  not  of  the  same  character, 
with  that  holy  man  that  nvalked  with  God,  c h.  5. 
22.  Good  men  and  bad  may  bear  the  same  names; 
but  God  can  distinguish  betwe'en  .lud:  s l.'-cariot,  and 
•Tildas  not  Iscariot,  John  14.  22.  The  names  of  more 
of  his  posterity  are  mentioned,  and  but  just  men- 
tioned; not  as  those  of  the  holy  seed,  ch.  5,  where 
we  have  three  verses  concerning  ea  li,  wdieieas 
here  we  have  three  or  four  in  one  verse.  They  are 
numbered  in  haste,  as  not  valued  or  delighted  in,  in 
comparison  with  God’s  chosen. 

19.  And  Lamech  took  unto  him  two 
wives  : the  name  of  the  one  teas  Adah,  and 
the  name  of  the  other  Zillah.  20.  And 
Adali  bare  Jahal : he  was  the  father  of  such 
as  dwell  in  tents,  and  of  such  os  hove  cattle. 
21.  And  his  brother’s  name  teas  Jubal : he 
was  the  father  of  all  such  as  handle  the 
harp  and  ore:an.  22.  And  Zillah,  she  also 
bare  Tubal-Cain,  an  instructor  of  every 
artificer  in  brass  and  iron : and  the  sister 
of  Tubal-Cain  was  Naamah. 

We  hai  e here  seme  particulars  concerning  La- 
mech, the  seventh  from  Adam  in  the  line  cf  Lain. 
Observe, 

I.  His  marrying  of  two  wives.  It  was  one  of  the 
degenerate  race  of  Cain,  who  first  transgressed  that 
original  law  of  marriage,  that  two  only  should  be 
one  flesh.  Hitherto,  one  man  had  but  one  wife  at 
a time;  but  Lamech  took  two.  From  the  beginning 
it  was  jiot  so,'^s/li\\.  2.  15.  Matth.  19.  5.  See  hen, 
1.  That  these  who  desert  God’s  church  and  ordi 
nances,  lay  themselves  open  to  all  manner  of  temp 
tation.  2.  That  when  a bad  custom  is  begun  by 
bad  men,  sometimes  men  of  better  characters  arc. 


55 


GENESIS,  IV 


through  unwariness,  drawn  in  to  follow  them.  Ja- 
cob,  David,  and  many  others,  who  were  otherwise  ' 

Eood  men,  were  afterward  insnared  in  this  sin  which 
lamech  had  begun.  I 

II.  His  happiness  in  his  children,  notwithstand- 
ing this.  Though  he  sinned,  in  marrying  two  wives, 
yet  he  Was  biessed  with  children  by  both,  and  those, 
such  as  lived  to  be  famous  in  their  generation;  net 
for  their  piety,  no  mention  is  made  of  that,  (for 
aught  that  appears,  they  were  the  heathen  of  that ! 
age,)  but  for  their  ingenuity.  They  were  not  only 
themselves  men  of  business,  but  men  that  were 
serviceable  to  the  world,  and  eminent  for  the  in- 
vention, or,  at  least,  the  improvement,  of  some  use- 
ful art.  ; 

1.  Jabal  was  a famous  shepherd;  he  delighted  , 
himself  much  in  keeping  cattle,  and  was  so  h..ppy  j 
in  devising  methods  of  doing  it  to  the  best  advan-  ; 
tage,  and  instructing  others  in  them,  that  the  shep-  ' 
herds  of  those  times,  nay,  the  shepherds  of  after-  j 
limes,  called  him  father;  or.  perhaps,  his  children  ■ 
after  him  being  brought  up  to  the  same  employ-  ' 
ment,  the  f miily  was  a family  of  shepherds. 

2.  Jiibal  was  a famous  musician,  and  particularly 
an  organist,  and  the  first  that  gave  rules  for  that 
noble  art  or  science  of  music.  When  Jabal  had  set  ; 
them  in  a way  to  be  rich,  Jubal  put  them  in  a way  1 
to  be  merry.  Those  who  spend  their  days  in  ; 
wealth,  will  not  be  without  the  timbrel  and  liarp. 
Job  21.  12,  13.  From  his  name,  Jubul,  probably, 
the  jubilee-trumpet  was  so  called;  for  the  best  i 
music  was  that  which  proclaimed  liberty  and  re-  ' 
demption.  Jabal  was  their  Pan,  and  Jubal  their 
Apollo.  ' 

3.  Tubal-Cain  was  a famous  smith,  who  greatly  i 
improved  the  art  of  working  in  brass  and  iron,  for 
the  service  both  of  war  and  husbandry.  He  was  ' 
their  Vulcan.  See  here,  i 

( 1. ) That  worldly  things  are  the  only  things  that  ' 
carnal  wicked  people  set  their  hearts  upon,  and  are  ! 
most  ingenious  and  industrious  about.  So  it  was  ' 
with  this  impious  race  of  cursed  Cain.  Here  was  a 
father  of  shepherds,  and  a father  of  musicians,  but 
not  a father  of  the  f.'.ithful : here  is  one  to  teach  in 
brass  and  iron,  luit  none  to  teach  the  good  know- 
ledge of  the  Lord:  here  are  devices  how  to  be  rich, 
and  how  to  be  mighty,  and  how  to  be  merry:  but 
nothing  of  God,  or  of  his  fear  and  service  among 
them.  Present  things  fill  the  hearts  of  most  people. 
(2.)  Tint  even  those  who  are  destitute  of  the  know- 
ledge and  grace  of  God,  may  be  endued  with  many 
excellent  useful  acromplishments,  which  may  make 
them  famous  and  serviceable  in  their  generation. 
Common  gif:s  are  given  to  bad  men,  while  God 
chocses  to  himself  the  foolish  things  of  the  world. 

2.3.  And  Lamech  said  unto  his  wives, 
Adah  and  Zillah,  Hear  my  voice  ; ye  wives 
of  Lamech,  hearken  unto  my  sj)eech ; for  I 
have  slain  a man  to  my  wounding,  and  a 
young  man  to  my  hurt : 24.  If  Cain  shall 

be  avenged  seven-fold,  truly  Lamech  seven- 
ty and  seven-fold. 

By  this  speech  of  Lamech,  which  is  here  record- 
ed, and,  probably,  was  much  talked  of  in  those 
times,  he  further  appears  to  have  been  a bad  man, 
as  Cain’s  accursed  race  generally  were. 

Observe, 

I.  How  haughtily  and  imperiously  he  speaks  to 
his  wives,  as  one  that  expected  a mighty  regard  and 
observance.  Hear  my  x'oice,  ye  ivives  of  Lamech. 
No  marvel  that  he  who  had  broken  one  law  of 
marriage,  by  biking  two  wives,  broke  another, 
which  obliged  him  to  be  kind  and  tender  to  those 
he  had  taken,  and  to  gi\  e honour  to  the  wife  as  to 


the  weaker  vessel.  Those  are  not  always  the 
most  careful  to  do  their  own  duty,  that  are  highest 
in  their  demands  of  respect  from  others,  and  most 
frequent  in  calling  upon  their  relations  to  know 
their  place,  and  do  their  duty. 

II.  Hom'  bloody  and  barbarcus  he  was  to  all 
alKAit  him.  1 have  slain,  or,  (as  it  is  in  the  mar- 
gin,) I ’tvotild  slay  a man  in  7ny  own  wound,  and  a 
young  Tiian  in  my  hurt.  He  owns  himself  a man 
rf  a tierce  and  cruel  disposition,  that  would  lay 
aljout  him  without  mercy,  and  kill  all  that  stood  in 
hiS  way;  be  it  a man,  or  a y'cung  man,  nay,  though 
he  himself  were  in  danger'to  be  wounded’ and  hurt 
in  the  conflict.  S me  think,  because  (x'.  24.)  he 
compares  himself  with  Cain,  that  he  had  murdered 
some  of  the  holy  seed,  the  true  worshippers  cf  fiod, 
and  that  he  acknowledges  this  to  be  the  wounding 
cf  his  conscience,  and  the  hurt  of  his  soul;  and  yet 
that  like  Cain,  he  continued  impenitent,  trembling 
and  yet  unhumbled.  Or,  his  wives,  knowing  what 
mcinner  of  spirit  he  was  cf,  how  apt  both  to  give 
and  to  resent  jirovocation,  were  afraid  lest  seme- 
bedy  or  other  wmuld  be  the  death  of  him.  “ Never 
fe.ir,”  says  he,  “ 1 defy  any  man  to  set  upen  me;  I 
will  slay  him,  be  he  a man,  or  a young  man.” 
Note,  It  is  a common  thing  for  fierce  and  bloody 
men  to  glory  m their  shame,  (Philip.  3.  19.)  as  if 
it  were  Imth  their  safety  and  their  honour,  that  they 
care  not  how  many  lives  are  sacrificed  to  their  an- 
gry resentments,  nor  how  much  they  are  hated, 
provided  they  may  be  feared.  Oderint,  dum  me- 
tuant — Let  them  hate,  provided  they  fear. 

III.  How  impiously  he  presumes  even  upon  God’s 
protection  in  his  wicked  way,  v.  24.  He  had  heard 
that  Cain  should  be  avenged  seven-fold,  v.  15;  that 
is,  that  if  any  man  should  dare  to  kill  Cain,  he 
sliould  be  severely  reckoned  with,  and  punished, 
for  so  doing,  though  Cain  deserved  to  die  a thou- 
sand deaths  for  the  murder  of  his  brother;  and 
hence  he  infers,  that  if  any  one  should  kill  him  for 
the  murders  he  had  committed,  God  would  much 
more  avenge  his  death.  As  if  the  special  care  God 
took  to  prolong  and  secure  the  life  cf  Cain,  for  spe- 
cial reasons  peculiar  to  his  case,  and  indeed  for  his 
sorer  punishment,  as  the  beings  of  the  damned  are 
continued — as  if  this  care  were  designed  for  a pro- 
tection to  all  murderers.  Thus  I.,amech  perversely 
argues,  “If  Gcd  provided  for  the  safety  of  Cain, 
much  more  for  mine;  Avho,  though  I have  slain 
many,  yet  never  slew  my  own  brother,  and  upon  no 
provocation,  as  he  did.”  Note,  The  reprieve  of 
some  sinners,  and  the  patience  God  exercised  to- 
ward them,  are  often  abused  to  the  hardening  of 
others  in  the  like  sinful  ways,  Eccl.  8.  11.  But 
though  justice  strike  some  slowly,  others  cannot 
therefore  be  sure  liut  that  they  mav  be  taken  away 
with  a swift  destmetion.  Or,  if  Gcd  should  bear 
long  witli  th;  se  who  thus  presume  upon  his  for- 
bearance, they  do  hut  hereby  treasure  up  unto 
themselves  wrath  against  the  day  of  wrath.  Now 
this  is  all  we  have  ujion  record  in  scripture  concern- 
ing the  family  and  posterity  of  cursed  Cain,  till  we 
find  them  all  cut  on  and  perishing  in  the  universal 
deluge. 

2.5.  And  Adam  knew  his  wife  again ; 
and  she  bare  a son,  and  called  his  name 
Seth  : For  God,  said  she,  hath  appointed  me 
another  seed  instead  of  Abel,  whom  Cain 
slew.  26.  And  to  Seth,  to  liim  also  there 
was  born  a son ; and  he  called  his  name 
Enos;  then  began  men  to  call  upon  the 
name  of  the  Lord. 

This  is  the  fii-st  mention  cf  Adam  in  the  story  cf 
this  chapter.  No  question,  the  murder  of  Abel, 


.56 


GENESIS,  V. 


and  the  impenitence  and  apostasy  of  Cain,  were  a 
very  great  grief  to  him  and  Eve;  and  the  more,  be-  ; 
cause  their  own  wickedness  did  now  correct  thern,  ! 
and  their  backslidings  did  reprove  them.  Their 
folly  had  given  sin  and  death  entrance  into  the 
world;  and'now  they  smarted  by  it,  being,  by  means 
thereof,  dejirived  of  both  their  sons  in  one  day,  ch. 
27.  45.  When  parents  are  grie\'ed  by  their  child- 
ren’s wickedness,  they  should  take  occasion  thence 
to  lament  that  corruption  of  nature  which  was  deriv- 
ed from  them,  and  which  is  the  root  of  bitterness. 
But  here  we  have  that  which  was  a relief  to  cur 
first  parents  in  their  affliction. 

I.  God  gave  them  to  see  the  rebuilding  of  their 
family,  which  was  sorely  shaken  and  weakened  by 
that  sad  event.  For,  1.  They  saw  their  seed,  an- 
other seed  instead  of  Abel,  v.  25.  _ Observe  God’s 
kindness  and  tenderness  toward  his  people,  in  his 
providential  dealings  with  them;  when  he  takes 
away  one  comfort  from  them,  he  gives  them  an- 
other instead  of  it,  which  may  pro\  e a greater  bless- 
ing to  them  than  that  was,  in  which  they  thought 
their  lives  were  bound  up.  This  other  seed  was  he 
in  whom  the  church  was  to  be  built  up  and  perpetu- 
ated; and  he  comes  instead  of  Abel;  for  the  suc- 
cession of  professors  is  the  revival  of  the  martyrs, 
and  as  it  were  the  resurrection  ot  God’s  slain  wit- 
nesses. Thus  we  are  bafitized  for  the  dead,  1 Cor. 
15.  29;  that  is,  we  are,  by  baptism,  admitted  into 
the  church,  for  or  instead  of  those  who,  by  death, 
especially  by  martyrdom,  are  removed  cut  of  it; 
and  we  fill  up  their  room.  They  who  slay  God’s 
servants,  hope  thus  to  wear  out  the  saints  of  the 
Most  High;  but  they  will  be  deceived.  Christ  shall 
still  see  his  seed;  God  can  out  of  stones  raise  up 
children  for  him,  and  make  the  blood  of  the  martyrs 
the  seed  of  the  church,  whose  lands,  we  are  sure, 
shall  never  be  lost  for  want  of  heirs.  This  son,  by 
•K  prophetic  spirit,  they  called  Seth,  that  is,  set, 
settled,  or  placed;  because,  in  his  seed,  mankind 
should  continue  to  the  end  of  time,  and  from  him 
the  Messiah  should  descend.  While  Cain,_  the 
head  of  the  apostasy,  is  made  a wanderer,  Seth, 
from  whom  the  true  church  was  to  come,  is  one  fix- 
ed. In  Christ  and  his  church  is  the  only  true  set- 
tlement. 2.  They  saw  their  seerf’if  1’.  26.  To 
Seth  was  born  a son  called  Knos,  that  general  name 
for  all  men,  which  bespeaks  the  weakness,  frailty, 
and  misery,  of  man’s  state.  The  liest  men  are 
most  sensible  of  these,  both  in  themselves  and  their 
children.  We  are  never  so  settled,  but  we  must 
remind  ourselves  that  we  are  frail. 

II.  God  gave  them  to  see  the  reviving  of  religion 
in  their  family,  v.  26,  Then  began  men  to  call 
upon  the  name  of  the  ford.  It  is  small  comfort  to 
a good  man  to  see  his  children’s  children,  if  he  do 
not,  withal,  see  peace  upon  Israel,  and  those  that 
come  of  him  walking  in  the  truth.  Doubtless, 
God’s  name  was  called  upon  before,  but  now,  ]. 
The  worshippers  of  God  began  to  stir  up  them- 
selves to  do  more  in  religion  than  they  had  done; 
perhaps  not  more  than  had  been  done  at  first,  but 
more  than  had  been  done  of  late,  since  the  defec- 
tion of  Cain.  Now,  men  began  to  worship  God, 
not  only  in  their  closets  and  families,  but  in  public 
and  solemn  assemblies.  Or,  now,  there  was  so 
great  a reformation  in  religion,  that  it  was  as  it  were, 
a new  beginning  of  it.  Then  may  refer,  not  to  the 
birth  of  Enos,  but  to  the  whole  foregoing  story; 
then,  when  men  saw  in  Cain  and  I.iamech  the  sad 
effects  of  sin,  by  the  workings  of  natural  conscience; 
then,  they  were  so  much  the  more  lively  and  reso- 
lute in  religion.  The  worse  others  are,  the  better 
we  should  be,  and  the  more  zealous.  2.  The  wor- 
shippers of  God  began  to  distinguish  themselves; 
the  margin  reads  it.  Then  began  men  to  be  called  by 
the  name  of  the  Lord,  or,  to  call  themselves  by  it. 


Now,  that  Cain  and  those  who  had  deserted  reli- 
gion, had  built  a city,  and  begun  to  declare  fer  im- 
piety and  irreligion,  and  called  themselves  the  Sons 
of  men;  those  that  adhered  to  God,  began  to  de- 
clare for  him  and  his  worship,  and  called  them- 
selves the  Sons  of  God.  Now  began  the  distinction 
lietween  professors  and  profane,  which  has  been 
kept  up  ever  since,  and  will  be  while  the  world 
stands. 

CHAP.  V. 

j This  chapter  is  the  only  authentic  history  extant  of  the 
first  age  of  the  world,  from  the  creation  to  the  flood, 
containing  (according  to  the  verity  of  the  Hebrew  text) 
1666  years,  as  may  easily  be  computed  by  the  ages  of  the 
Patriarchs,  before  they  begat  that  son,  through  whom 
the  line  went  down  to  Noah.  This  is  none  of  those 
which  the  apostle  calls  endless  genealogies,  1 Tim.  1.  4, 
for  Christ  who  was  the  end  of  the  Old  Testament  law, 
was  also  the  end  of  the  Old  Testament  genealogies; 
toward  him  they  looked,  and  in  him  they  centred.  The 
genealogy  here  recorded,  is  inserted  briefly  in  the  pedi 
gree  of  our  Saviour,  Luke  3.  36.  .38,  and  is  of  great  use, 
to  show  that  Christ  was  the  Seed  of  the  icoman,  that 
was  promised.  We  have  here  an  account,  I.  Con- 
cerning Adam,  v.  1.  .5.  II.  Seth,  v.  6.  .8.  III.  Enos,  v. 
9.  .11.  IV.  Cainan,  v.  12.  .14.  V.  Mahalaleel,  v.  15.. 
17.  VI.  Jared,  v.  18.  .20.  VII.  Enoch,  v.  21.  .24.  VUI. 
Methuselah,  v.  25.  .27.  IX.  Lamech  and  his  son  Noah, 
V.  28.  .32.  All  scripture,  being  given  by  inspiration  of 
God,  is  profitable,-  though  not  all  alike  profitable. 

\v  I '^HIS  is  the  book  of  the  generations  of 
1 Adam.  In  the  day  that  God  crea- 
ted man,  in  the  likeness  of  God  made  he 
him  : 2.  Male  and  female  created  he  them ; 
and  blessed  them,  and  called  their  name 
Adam,  in  the  day  when  they  were  created  : 

3.  And  Adam  lived  an  hundred  and  thirty 
years,  and  begat  a son  in  his  own  likeness, 
after  his  image  ; and  called  his  name  Seth ; 

4.  And  the  days  of  Adam  after  he  had  be- 

gotten Seth  were  eight  hundred  years : and 
he  begat  sons  and  daughters : 5.  And  all 

the  days  that  Adam  lived  were  nine  hun- 
dred and  thirty  years : and  he  died. 

The  first  words  of  the  chapter  are  the  title  or  ar- 
gument of  the  whole  chapter;  it  is  the  book  of  the 
generations  of  Adam,  it  is  the  list  or  catalogue  ( f 
the  posterity  of  Adam;  not  of  all,  but  only  ( i the 
holy  seed  which  were  the  substance  thereof,  Isa.  6. 
13,  and  of  whom,  as  concerning  the  flesh,  Christ 
came,  Rom.  9.  5,  the  names,  ages,  and  deaths,  of 
those  that  were  the  successors  of  the  first  Adam  in 
the  custody  of  the  promise,  and  the  ancestors  of  the 
second  Adam.  The  genealogy  begins  with  Adam 
himself. 

Here  is, 

I.  His  creation,  v.  1,  2.  Where  we  have  a brief 
rehearsal  of  what  was  before  at  large  related  con- 
cerning the  creation  of  man.  This  is  what  we  have 
need  frequently  to  hear  of,  and  carefully  to  acquaint 
ourselves  with.  Observe  here,  1.  That  God  crea- 
ted man.  Man  is  not  his  own  maker,  therefore  bt 
must  not  be  his  own  master;  but  the  Author  of  his 
being  must  be  the  Director  of  his  motions  and  the 
centre  of  them.  2.  That  there  was  a day  in  which 
God  created  man;  he  was  not  from  eternity,  l)\it  of 
yesterday;  he  was  not  the  first-born,  but  the  junior 
of  the  creation.  3.  That  God  made  him  in  his  own 
likeness,  righteous  and  holy,  and  therefore,  un- 
doubtedly, happy;  man’s  nature  resembled  the  di- 
vine nature  more  than  that  of  any  of  the  creatures 
of  this  lower  world.  4.  That  God  created  them 
male  and  female,  {y.  2.)  for  their  mutual  comfort 
as  well  as  for  the  preservation  and  increase  of  their 


57 


GENESIS,  V. 


Kind.  Adam  and  Eve  were  both  made  immediately 
by  the  hand  of  God,  both  made  in  God’s  like'  ess; 
and  therefore  between  the  sexes  there  is  not  that 
great  distance  and  inequality  which  some  imagine. 
5.  That  God  blessed  them.  It  is  usual  for  parents 
to  bless  their  children;  so  God,  the  common  Father, 
blessed  his:  but  earthly  parents  can  only  beg-  a 
blessing,  it  is  God’s  prerogative  to  command  it.  It 
refers  chiefly  to  the  blessing  of  increase,  not  exclud- 
ing other  blessings.  6.  That  he  called  their  name 
Adam.  Adam  signifies  earth,  red  earth.  Now, 
(1.)  God  gave  him  this  name.  Adam  had  himself 
named  the  rest  of  the  creatures,  but  he  must  not 
choose  his  own  name,  lest  he  should  assume  some 
glorious  pompous  title.  But  God  gave  him  a name 
which  would  be  a continual  memorandum  to  him  of 
the  meanness  of  his  original,  and  oblige  him  to  look 
unto  the  rock  whence  he  was  hewn,  and  the  hole  of 
the  flit  whence  he  was  digged,  Isa.  51.  1.  Those 
have  little  reason  to  be  proud,  who  are  so  near  akin 
to  dust.  (2.)  He  gave  this  name  both  to  the  man 
and  to  the  woman.  Being,  at  first,  one  by  nature, 
and  afterward,  one  by  marriage,  it  was  fit  they 
should  both  have  the  same  name,  in  token  of  their 
union.  The  woman  is  of  the  earth,  earthy,  as  well 
as  the  man. 

II.  The  birth  of  his  son  Seth,  v.  3.  He  was  bom 
in  the  hundred  and  thirtieth  year  of  Adam’s  life; 
and,  probably,  the  murder  of  Abel  was  not  long  be- 
fore. Many  other  sons  and  daughters  were  bom  to 
Adam,  besides  Cain  and  Abel,  before  this;  but  no 
Tiotice  is  taken  of  them,  because  an  honourable 
mention  must  be  made  of  his  name  only,  in  whose 
loins  Christ  and  the  church  were.  But  that  which 
is  most  observable  here  concerning  Seth,  is,  that 
Adam  begat  him  in  his  own  likeness,  after  his  image. 
Adam  was  made  in  the  image  of  God;  but  when  he 
was  fallen  and  corrupt,  he  begat  a son  in  his  own 
image,  sinful  and  defiled,  frail,  mortal,  and  misera- 
ble, like  himself;  not  only  a man  like  himself,  con- 
sisting cf  l)cdy  and  soul,  but  a sinner  like  himself, 
guilty  and  obnoxious,  degenerate  and  corrupt. 
Even  the  man  after  God’s  own  heart  owns  himself 
conceived  and  bom  in  sin,  Ps.  51.  5.  This  was 
Adam’s  own  likeness,  the  reverse  of  that  divine 
likeness  in  which  Adam  was  made;  but,  having  lost 
it  himself,  he  could  not  convey  it  to  his  seed.  Note, 
Grace  does  not  run  in  the  blood,  but  corruption 
does.  A sinner  begets  a sinner,  but  a saint  does  not 
beget  a saint. 

HI.  His  age  and  death.  He  lived,  in  all,  nine 
hundred  and  thirty  years;  and  then  he  died,  accoi’d- 
!ng  to  the  sentence  passed  upon  him.  To  dust  thou 
shalt  return.  Though  he  did  not  die  in  the  day  he 
ate  forbidden  fruit,  yet  in  that  very  day  he  became 
mortal;  then  he  began  to  die:  his  whole  life  after 
was  but  a reprieve,  a forfeited,  condemned,  life; 
nay  it  was  a wasting,  dying,  life:  he  was  not  only 
like  a criminal  sentenced,  but  as  one  already  cruci- 
fied, that  dies  slowly,  and  by  degrees. 

G.  And  Seth  lived  an  Inindred  and  five 
years,  andb^^at  Enos:  7.  And  Seth  lived 
after  he  begat  Enos  eight  hundred  and 
seven  years,  and  begat  sons  and  daughters  : 
8.  And  all  the  days  of  Seth  were  nine  hun- 
dred and  twelve  years:  and  he  died.  9. 
And  Enos  lived  ninety  years,  and  begat 
Cainan:  10.  And  Enos  lived  after  he  be- 
gat Cainan  eight  hundred  and  fifteen  years, 
and  begat  sons  and  daughters : 11.  And 

all  the  days  of  Enos  were  nine  hundred  and 
five  years : and  he  died.  1 2.  And  Cainan 
lived  seventy  vears,  and  begat  Mahalaleel : 
VoL.  L— H 


1 3.  And  Cainan  lived  after  he  begat  Mahala  - 
leel  eight  hundred  and  forty  years,  and  begat 
sons  and  daughters:  14.  And  all  the  days 
of  Cainan  were  nine  hundred  and  ten  years : 
and  he  died.  15.  And  Mahalaleel  lived 
sixty  and  five  years,  and  begat  Jared : 16. 

And  Mahalaleel  lived  after  he  begat  Jared 
eight  hundred  and  thirty  years,  and  begat 
sons  and  daughters : 1 7.  And  all  the  days 

of  Mahalaleel  were  eight  hundred  ninety 
and  five  years  : and  he  died.  18.  And  Ja- 
red lived  an  hundred  sixty  and  two  years, 
and  he  begat  Enoch:  19.  And  Jared  lived 
after  he  begat  Enoch  eight  hundred  years, 
and  begat  sons  and  daughters:  20.  And 
all  the  days  of  Jared  were  nine  hundred 
sixty  and  two  years : and  he  died. 

We  have  here  all  that  the  Holy  Ghost  thought 
fit  to  leave  upon  record  concerning  five  of  the  pa- 
triarchs before  the  flood,  Seth,  Enos,  Cainan,  Ma- 
halaleel, and  Jared.  There  is  nothing  observable 
concerning  any  of  these  particularly,  though  we 
have  reason  to  think  they  were  men  of  eminence, 
both  for  prudence  and  piety,  in  their  day : but,  in 
general, 

I.  Observe  how  largely  and  expressly  their  gen- 
erations are  recorded.  This  matter,  one  would 
think,  might  have  been  delivered  in  fewer  words; 
but  it  is  certain  that  there  is  not  one  idle  word  in 
God’s  bocks,  whatever  there  is  in  men’s.  It  is  thus 
plainly  set  down,  1.  To  make  it  easy  and  intelligi- 
ble to  the  meanest  capacity:  when  we  are  infcrnfccl 
how  old  they  were  when  they  begat  such  a sen,  and 
how  many  years  they  lived  after,  a very  little  skill 
in  arithmetic  will  enable  a man  to  tell  how  long 
they  lived  in  all;  yet  the  Holy  Ghost  sets  down  the 
sum  total,  for  the  sake  of  those  that  ha\'e  not  even 
so  much  skill  as  that.  2.  To  show  the  pleasure 
God  takes  in  the  names  rf  his  pecple:  we  fcun  1 
Cain’s  generation  numbered  in  haste,  ch.  A.  18,  but 
this  account  of  the  holy  seed  is  enlarged  up(  n,  and 
given  in  words  at  length,  and  not  in  figures;  we  are 
told  how  long  they  lived,  that  lived  in  God’s  fear, 
and  when  they  died,  that  died  in  his  favour;  but  a.s 
for  others,  it  is  no  matter.  The  memory  of  the  just 
is  blessed,  bu^  the  name  of  the  wicked  shall  rot. 

H.  Their  life  is  reckoned  by  days,  v.  8,  all  the 
days  of  Seth,  and  so  of  the  rest;  which  intimates 
the  shortness  of  the  life  cf  man,  when  it  is  at  the 
longest,  and  the  quick  revolution  cf  our  times  ci\ 
earth.  If  they  reckon  by  days,  surely  we  must 
reckon  by  hours,  or,  rather  make  that  cur  frequent 
praver,  (Ps.  90.  12.)  Teach  us  to  number  our  days. 

III.  Concerning  each  of  them,  except  Enoch,  it 
is  said,  and  he  died.  It  is  implied  in  the  number- 
ing of  the  years  cf  their  life,  that  their  life,  when 
those  years  w'ere  numbered  and  finished,  came  to 
an  end;  and  yet  it  is  still  repeated,  and  he  died:  to 
show  that  death  passed  upon  all  men  without  ex- 
ception, and  that  it  is  good  for  us  particularly  to 
observe  and  improve  the  deaths  of  others  for  our 
own  edification.  Such  a one  was  a strong  healthful 
man,  but  he  died;  such  a one  was  a great  and  rich 
man,  but  he  died:  such  a one  was  a wise  politic  man, 
but  he  died;  such  a one  was  a very  good  man,  per- 
haps a very  useful  man,  but  he  died,  &c. 

IV.  That  which  is  especially  observable,  is,  that 
they  all  lived  very  long;  not  one  of  them  died  till  he 
had  seen  the  revolutions  of  almost  eight  hundred 
years,  and  some  of  them  lived  much  longer;  a great 
while  for  an  immortal  soul  to  be  imprisoned  in  a 
house  of  clay.  The  present  life  surely  was  not  to 


58 


GENESIS,  V. 


them  such  a burthen  as,  commonly,  it  is  now,  else 
they  would  have  been  weary  of  it;  nor  was  the  fu- 
ture life  so  clearly  revealed  then  as  it  is  now  under 
the  gospel,  else  they  would  have  been  impatient  to 
remove  to  it:  long  life  to  the  pious  patriarchs  was  a 
blessing,  and  made  them  blessings.  1.  Some  natu- 
ral causes  may  be  assigned  for  their  long  life  in 
those  first  ages  of  the  world.  It  is  ^■ery  probable 
that  the  earth  v/as  more  fruitful,  the  productions  of 
it  more  strengthening,  the  air  more  healthful,  and 
the  influences  of  the  heavenly  bodies  moi’e  benign, 
before  the  flood  than  they  were  after.  I'hough 
man  was  driven  out  of  paradise,  yet  the  earth  itself 
was  then  paradisiacal;  a garden,  in  ccmparison  with 
its  present  wilderness  state:  and  some  tliink  that 
their  great  knowledge  of  the  creatures,  and  cf  their 
usefulness  both  for  food  and  medicine,  together  with 
their  sobriety  and  temperance,  contributed  much  to 
it;  yet  we  do  not  find  that  those  who  were  intem- 

F)erate,  as  many  were,  Luke  17.  27,  were  as  short- 
ived  as  intemperate  men  generally  are  now.  2.  It 
must  chiefly  be  resolved  into  the  power  and  provi- 
dence of  God;  he  prolonged  their  lives,  both  tor  the 
mere  speedy  replenishing  of  the  earth,  and  for  the 
more  effectual  preservation  of  the  knowledge  of 
God  and  religion,  then,  when  there  was  no  written 
word,  but  ti’adition  was  the  channel  of  its  convey- 
ance All  the  patriarchs  here,  except  Noah,  were 
barn  before  Adam  died;  so  that  from  him  they 
might  receive  a full  and  satisfactory  account  of  the 
creation,  paradise,  the  fall,  the  jiromise,  and  those 
divine  ])recepts  which  concerned  religious  worship 
and  a religious  life:  and  if  any  mistake  arose,  they 
might  have  recourse  to  him  while  he  lived,  as  to  an 
oracle,  for  the  rectifying  of  it,  and,  after  his  death, 
to  Methuselah,  and  others,  that  had  conversed  with 
him:  so  great  was  the  cai*e  of  Almighty  God  to  pre- 
serve in  his  church  the  knowledge  of  his  will,  and 
the  purity  of  his  worship. 

2 1 . And  Enoch  lived  sixty  and  five  years, 
and  begat  Methuselah : 22.  And  Enoch 

walked  with  God  alter  he  begat  Methuse- 
lah, three  hundred  years,  and  begat  sons 
and  daughters : 2.3.  And  all  the  days  of 

Enoch  were  three  hundred  and  sixty-five 
years:  24.  And  Enoch  walked  with  God : 
and  he  teas  not : for  God  took  him. 

I'he  accounts  here  run  on  for  several  generations 
•vithout  any  thing  remarkaljle,  or  any  variation  but 
if  the  names  and  numbers;  but,  at  length,  there 
.ernes  in  one  that  must  not  be  passed  over  so,  of 
/horn  special  notice  must  be  taken,  and  that  is 
Enoch,  the  seventh  from  Adam:  the  rest,  we  may 
suijpose,  did  \'irtuously,  but  he  excelled  them  all, 
and  was  the  brightest  star  cf  the  patriarchal  age. 
It  is  l:)ut  little  that  is  recorded  concerning  him;  but 
that  little  is  enough  to  make  his  name  great,  greater 
th'  n the  name  of  the  other  Enoch,  who  hacl  a city 
called  l)y  his  name.  Here  are  two  things  concern- 
ing him: 

I.  His  gracious  conversation  in  this  world,  which 
is  twice  spoken  of,  xi.  22,  Enoch  walked  with  (lod 
after  he  begat  Mrthnselah;  and  again  xa  24,  F.noch 
walked  with  (lod.  Observe, 

1.  The  nature  of  his  religion,  and  the  scope  and 
tenor  of  his  conversation;  he  walked  with  God, 
which  denotes,  (1.)  True  religion;  what  is  godli- 
ness, but  walking  with  God.^  The  ungodly  and  pi’o- 
fane  are  without  God  in  the  world,  they  walk  con- 
trary to  him;  but  the  godly  walk  with  God,  which 
presupposes  reconciliation  to  God,  for  two  cannot 
walk  together,  except  they  be  agreed,  Amos  3.  3, 
and  includes  all  the  parts  arid  instances  of  a godly, 
righteous,  and  sol)er,  life:  to  walk  with  God,  is  to 


set  God  always  before  us,  and  to  act  as  those  that 
are  always  under  his  eye.  It  is  to  live  a life  of  com 
municn  with  God,  both  in  ordinances  and  provi 
dences;  it  is  to  make  God’s  word  our  rule,  and  his 
glory  our  end,  in  all  our  actions;  it  is  to  make  it  our 
constant  care  and  endeavour  in  every  thing  to  please 
God,  and  in  nothing  to  oft'end  him ; it  is  to  comply 
with  his  will,  to  concur  with  his  designs,  and  to  be 
workers  together  with  him:  it  is  to  be  followers  of 
him  as  dear  children.  (2.)  Elminent  religicn.  He 
was  entirely  dead  to  this  world,  and  did  net  onlv 
walk  after  Gcd,  as  all  good  men  do,  but  he  walked 
with  God,  as  if  he  were  in  heaven  already:  he  lived 
abo\'e  the  rate,  not  only  of  other  men,  but  of  other 
saints;  not  only  good  in  bad  times,  but  the  best  in 
good  times.  (3.)  Aciixnty  in  premoting  religicn 
among  others:  executing  the  priest’s  office  is  called 
walking  before  God,  1 Sam.  2.  30,  35,  and  see 
Zech.  3.  7.  Enoch,  it  should  seem,  was  a priest  of 
the  most  high  God,  and,  as  Noah,  who  is  likewise 
said  to  walk  with  Gcd,  he  was  a preacher  cf  right- 
eousness, and  ])rophesied  of  Christ’s  second  coming, 
Jude  14,  Behold,  the  Lord  cometh  with  his  holy  my- 
riads. Now  the  Holy  Spirit  instead  of  saying,  Enoch 
lived,  says,  Enoch  walked  with  God;  for  it  is  the  life 
of  a good  man  to  walk  with  God.  This  was,  [1.] 
The  business  of  Enoch’s  life,  his  constant  care  and 
work;  while  others  lived  to  themselves  and  the 
world,  he  lived  to  God.  [2.]  It  was  the  joy  and 
support  cf  his  life;  communion  with  God  was  to 
him  better  than  life  itself;  To  me  to  live  is  Christ, 
Phil.  1.  21. 

2.  The  date  of  his  religion.  It  is  said,  xc  21,  he 
lived  sixty-five  years,  and  begat  Methuselah;  but, 
V.  22,  he  walked  with  God  after  he  begat  Methu- 
selah; which  intimates  that  he  did  not  begin  to  be 
eminent  for  piety,  till  about  that  time;  at  first  he 
walked  but  as  other  men.  Great  saints  ai-rive  at 
their  eminence  by  degrees. 

3.  The  continuance  of  his  religion;  he  walked 
with  God  three  hundred  years,  as  long  as  he  con- 
tinued in  this  world:  the  hypocrite  will  not  pray  al- 
ways; but  the  real  saint  that  acts  from  a principle, 
and  makes  religion  his  choice,  will  persevere  to  the 
end,  and  walk  with  God  while  he  lives,  as  one  that 
hopes  to  live  for  ever  with  him,  Ps.  104.  33. 

II.  His  glorious  removal  to  a A world : as  he 
did  not  live  like  the  rest,  so  he  did  not  die  like  the 
rest,  XI.  24,  he  was  not,  for  God  took  him;  that  is, 
as  it  is  explained,  Heb.  11.  3,  He  was  translated 
that  he  should  not  see  death,  and  was  not  found  be- 
cause God  had  translated  him.  Observe, 

1.  When  he  was  thus  translated.  (1.)  What  time 
of  his  life  it  was;  when  he  had  lived  but  three  hun- 
dred and  sixty-five  ye:^rs,  (a  year  of  years,)  which, 
as  men’s  ages  went  then,  was  in  the  midst  of  his 
days;  for  there  was  none  of  the  patriarchs,  before 
the  flood,  that  did  not  more  than  double  that  age: 
but  why  did  God  take  him  so  soon.^  Surely,  be- 
cause the  world,  which  was  now  grown  corrupt, 
was  not  worthy  of  him;  or,  because  he  was  so 
much  above  the  world,  and  so  weary  of  it,  as  to 
desire  a speedy  removal  out  of  it;  or,  because  his 
work  was  done,  and  done  the  sooner  for  his  mind- 
ing it  so  closely.  Note,  God  often  takes  them  soon- 
est whom  he  loves  best;  and  the  time  thev  lose  cn 
earth  is  gained  in  heaven,  to  their  unspeakable  ad- 
vantage. (2.)  What  time  of  the  world;  it  was  when 
all  the  patriarchs,  mentioned  in  this  chapter,  were 
living,  except  Adam,  who  died  57  years  before, 
and  Noah,  who  was  born  69  years  after;  they  two 
had  sensible  confirmations  to  their  faith  other  ways, 
but  to  all  the  rest,  who  were,  or  might  have  been 
witnesses  of  Enoch’s  translation,  that  was  a sensible 
encrtiragement  to  their  faith  and  hope  concerning 
a future  state. 

2 How  his  removal  is  expressed.  He  was  net 


59 


GENESIS,  V. 


for  God  took  hun.  (1.)  He  was  not  any  longer  in 
this  world;  it  was  not  the  period  of  his  being,  but  of 
his  being  here;  he  was  not  found,  so  the  apostle  ex- 
plains it  from  the  LXX,  not  found  by  his  friends, 
who  sought  him,  as  the  sons  of  the  prophets  sought 
Elijah,  2 Kings  2.  17 ; not  found  by  his  enemies, 
who,  some  think,  were  in  quest  of  him,  to  put  him 
to  death  in  their  rage  against  him  for  his  eminent 
piety ; it  appears  by  his  prophecy,  that  there  were 
then  many  ungodly  sinners,  who  spake  hard  speech- 
es, and,  probably  did  hard  things  too,  against  God’s 
people,  Jude  15,  but  God  hid  Enoch  from  them,  not 
wnrfer  heaven,  but  m heaven.  (2.)  God  took  him 
body  and  soul  to  himself  in  the  heaA^enly  paradise, 
bv  the  ministry  of  angels,  as,  afterward,  he  took 
Elijah.  He  was  changed,  as  those  saints  shall  be, 
that  will  be  found  alive  at  Christ’s  second  coming. 
Whenever  a good  man  dies,  God  takes  him,  fetches 
him  hence,  and  receives  him  to  himself.  The  apos- 
tle adds  concerning  Enoch,  that  before  his  transla- 
tion, he  had  this  testimony  that  he  pleased  God,  and 
this  was  the  good  report  he-obtained.  Note, 

[1.]  Walking  with  God,  pieces  God.  [2.]  We 
cannot  Avalk  with  God,  so  as  to  please  him,  but  by 
faith.  [3.]  God  himself  will  put  an  honour  upon 
those  that  by  faith  walk  Avith  him  so  as  to  please 
him.  He  Avill  own  them  now,  and  Avitness  for  them 
before  angels  and  men  at  the  great  day:  they  that 
have  not  this  testimony  before  the  translation,  yet 
shall  have  it  after.  [4.  ] Those  whose  conversation 
in  the  world  is  truly  holy,  shall  find  their  removal 
out  of  it  truly  happy.  Enoch’s  translation  Avas  not 
only  an  evidence  to  faith  of  the  reality  of  a future 
state,  and  of  the  possibility  of  the  body’s  existing  in 
glory  in  that  state;  but  it  Avas  an  encouragement  to 
the  hope  of  all  that  Avalk  with  God,  that  they  shall 
be  for  ever  with  him:  signal  piety  shall  be  crowned 
with  signal  honours. 

25.  And  Methuselah  lived  an  hundred 
eighty  and  seven  years,  and  begat  Lamecli : 
26.  And  Methuselah  lived  after  he  begat 
Lamech  seven  hundred  eiglity  and  two 
years,  and  begat  sons  and  daughters : 27. 

And  all  the  days  of  Methuselah  were  nine 
hundred  sixty  and  nine  years : and  he  died. 

Concerning  Methuselah  observe,  1.  The  signifi- 
cation of  his  name,  Avhich  some  think,  AVas  prophet- 
ical, his  father  Enoch  being  a prophet;  Methuselah 
signifies,  he  dies,  there  is  a dart,  or,  a sending  forth, 
namely,  of  the  deluge,  Avhich  came  the  very  year 
that  Methuselah  died.  If  indeed  his  name  was  so 
intended,  and  so  explained,  it  Avas  fair  warning  to  a 
careless  world,  a long  time  before  the  judgment 
came.  However,  this  is  observable,  that  the  longest 
liver  that  ever  was,  carried  death  in  his  name,  that 
he  might  be  reminded  of  its  coming  surely,  though 
it  came  sloAvly.  2.  His  age:  he  IWed  nine  hundred 
and  sixty-nine  years,  the  longest  Ave  read  of,  that 
ever  any  man  lived  to,  on  earth;  and  yet  he  died: 
the  longest  liver  must  die  at  last.  Neither  youth 
nor  age  Avill  discharge  from  that  war,  for  that  is  the 
end  of  all  men:  none  can  challenge  life  by  long  pre- 
scription, nor  make  that  a plea  against  the  arrests 
of  death.  It  is  commonly  supposed  that  Methuse- 
lah died  a little  before  the  flood;  the  Jewish  Avriters 
say,  “ seven  days  before,”  referring  to  ch.  7.  10, 
and  that  he  Avas  taken  aAvay  from  the  evil  to  come; 
Avhich  goes  upon  this  presumption  Avhich  is  gene- 
nlly  received,  that  all  these  patriarchs  in  this 
chapter  were  holy  good  men.  I am  loath  to  offer 
any  surmise  to  the  contrary;  and  yet  >I  see  not  that 
that  can  be  anymore  inferred  from  their  enrolment 
here  among  the  ancestors  of  C’nrist,  than  that  all 
those  kings  of  Judah  were  so,  Avhose  names  are  j 
recorded  in  his  genealogy,  many  of  whom,  Ave  are  a 


sure,  Avere  much  otherwise:  and  if  this  be  ques- 
tioned, it  may  be  suggested  as  probable,  that  Me- 
thuselah Avas  himself  drowned  with  the  rest  of  the 
world;  for  it  is  certain  that  he  died  that  year, 

28.  And  Lamech  lived  an  hundred  eighty 
and  two  years,  and  begat  a son  : 29.  And 

he  called  his  name  Noah,  saying.  This 
mme  shall  comfort  us  concerning  our  work 
and  toil  of  our  hands,  because  of  the  ground 
which  the  Lord  hath  cursed:  30.  And 
Lamech  lived  after  he  begat  Noah  five  hun- 
dred ninety  and  five  yeais,  and  begat  sons 
and  daughters : 31.  And  all  the  days  of 

Lamech  were  seven  hundred  seventy  and 
seven  3^ears  : and  he  died : 32.  And  Noal 

was  five  hundred  years  old : and  Noah  be 
gat  Shem,  Ham,  and  Japheth. 

Here  Ave  have  the  first  mention  of  Noah,  of  Avhoir 
Ave  shall  read  much  in  the  following  chapters. 
Here  is, 

I.  His  name,  Avith  the  reason  of  it:  Pt''oah  signifies 
rest;  his  parents  gave  him  that  name,  Avith  the 
prospect  of  his  being  a more  than  ordinary  blessing 
to  his  generation.  This  sa?ne  shall  comfort  us  con- 
cerning our  nuork  and  toil  of  our  hands,  because  of 
the  ground  which  the  Lora  hath  cursed.  Here  is, 
1.  His  complaint  of  the  calamitous  state  of  human 
life;  by  the  entrance  of  sin,  and  the  entail  of  the 
curse  fir  sin,  it  is  become  very  miserable:  ourAvhole 
life  is  spent  in  labour,  and  our  time  filled  up  with 
continual  toil.  God  having  cursed  the  ground,  it  is 
as  much  as  some  can  do,  with  the  utmost  care  and 
pains,  to  fetch  a hard  livelihood  out  of  it.  He  speaks 
as  one  fatigued  with  the  business  of  this  life,  and 
grudging  that  so  many  of  our  thoughts  and  precious 
minutes,  Avhich  other Avise  might  have  been  much 
better  employed,  are  unavoidably  spent  for  the  sup- 
port of  the  body.  2.  His  comfortable  hopes  of  seme 
relief  by  the  birth  of  this  son : This  same  shall  com- 
fort us;  Avhich  denotes  not  only  the  desire  and  ex- 
pectation Avhich  parents  generally  have  conceniing 
their  children,  that  Avhen  they  groAv  up,  they  Avill 
be  comforts  to  them,  and  helpers  in  their  business, 
though  they  often  prove  otherAvise;  but  it  denotes 
also  an  apprehension  and  prospect  of  something 
more:  very  probal^ly,  there  Avere  some  prophecies 
that  Avent  before  him,  as  a person  that  should  be 
wonderfully  serviceable  to  his  generation,  Avhich 
they  so  understood  as  to  conclude  that  he  Avas  the 
promised  Seed,  the  Messiah  that  should  come:  and 
then  intimates  that  a covenant-interest  in  Christ  as 
our’s,  and  the  believing  expectation  of  his  coming, 
furnish  us  Avith  the  best  and  surest  comforts,  both 
in  reference  to  the  Avr.ith  and  curse  of  God  Avhich 
we  have  deserved,  and  to  the  toils  and  troubles  of 
this  present  time  Avhich  Ave  are  often  complaining 
of.  “ Is  Christ  our’s?  Is  heaven  our’s?  This  samt 
shall  comfort  us.  ” 

II.  His  children,  Shem,  Ham,  and  Japheth 
These  Noah  begat,  (the  eldest  cf  these,)  when  he 
was  500  A'ears  old.  It  should  seem  that  Japheth 
Avas  the  eldest,  ch.  10.  21;  but  Shem  is  put  first,  be- 
cause on  him  the  covenant  Avas  entailed,  as  appears 
ch.  9.  26,  Avhere  God  is  called  the  Lord  God  of 
I'hem;  to  him,  it  is  probable,  the  birth-right  Avas 
giA-^en,  and  from  him,  it  is  certain,  both  Christ  the 
Head,  and  the  church  the  body,  Avere  to  descend; 
therefore  he  is  called  Shem,  Avhich  signifies  a name, 
because  in  his  posterity  the  name  of  God  should  al- 
Avays  remain,  till  he  should  come  out  of  his  loins, 
whose  name  is  above  eA^ery  name;  so  that  in  putting 
Shem  first,  Christ  av,  s in  effect  put  first,  Avho  in  afi 
things  must  have  the  pre-eminence. 


GO 


GENESIS,  VI. 


CHAP.  VI. 

The  most  remarkable  thing  we  have  upon  record  concern- 
ing the  old  world,  is,  the  destruction  of  it  by  the  univer- 
sal deluge,  which  this  chapter  begins  the  story  of; 
wherein  we  have,  I.  The  abounding  iniquity  ol  that 
wicked  world,  v.  1..5.  and  v.  11,  12.  II.  The  righteous 
God’s  just  resentment  of  that  abounding  iniquity,  and 
his  holy  resolution  to  punish  it,  v.  6,  7.  III.  The  spe- 
cial favour  of  God  to  his  servant  Noah.  1.  In  the  cha- 
racter given  of  him,  V.  8..  10.  2.  In  the  communication 

of  Goa’s  purpose  to  him,  v.  13,  17.  3.  In  the  directions 
he  gave  him  to  make  an  ark  for  his  own  safety,  v.  14..  16. 
4.  In  the  employing  of  him  for  the  preservation  of  the 
rest  of  the  creatures,  v.  18. .21.  Lastly,  Noah’s  obedi- 
ence to  the  instructions  given  him,  v.  22.  And  this  con- 
cerning the  old  world  is  written  for  our  admonition, 
upon  whom  the  ends  of  the  new  world  are  come. 

1.  4 ND  it  came  to  pass,  when  men  be- 

gan  to  multiply  on  the  face  of  the 
earth,  and  daughters  were  born  unto  them : 

2.  That  the  sons  of  God  saw  the  daughters 
of  men,  that  they  ivere  fair  : and  they  took 
them  wives  of  all  w'hich  they  chose. 

For  the  glory  of  God’s  justice,  and  for  warning  to 
a wicked  world,  before  the  history  of  the  ruin  of 
the  old  world,  we  have  a full  account  of  its  degene- 
racy, its  apostasy  from  God  and  rebellion  against 
him.  The  destroying  of  it  was  an  act,  not  of  abso- 
lute sovereignty,  but  of  necessary  justice  for  the 
maintaining  of  the  honour  of  God’s  government. 
Now  here  we  have  an  account  of  two  things  which 
occasioned  the  wickedness  of  the  old  world. 

1.  The  increase  of  mankind.  Men  began  to 
multiply  upon  the  face  of  the  earth.  This  was  the 
effect  of  the  blessing,  ch.  1.  23,  and  yet  man’s  cor- 
laiption  so  abused  and  perverted  this  blessing,  that 
it  turned  into  a curse.  Thus  sin  takes  occasion  by 
the  mercies  of  God  to  be  the  more  exceeding  sin- 
ful. Prov.  29.  16,  When  the  wicked  are  multiplied, 
transgression  increaseth.  I'he  more  sinners,  the 
more  sin;  and  the  multitude  of  offenders  embolden 
men:  infectious  diseases  are  more  destructive  in 
populous  cities;  and  sin  is  a spreading  leprosy. 
Thus  in  the  New  Testament  church,  when  the 
number  of  the  disciples  was  multiplied,  there  arose 
a murmuring,  .Acts  6.  1,  and  we  read  of  a nation 
that  was  multiplied,  not  to  the  increase  of  their  joy, 
Isa.  9.  3.  Numerous  families  need  to  be  well  go- 
verned, lest  they  should  become  wicked  families. 

2.  Mixed  marriages,  v.  2.  The  sons  of  God,  that 
is,  the  professors  of  religion,  who  were  called  by 
the  name  of  the  Lord,  and  called  upon  that  name, 
married  the  daughters  of  men,  that  is,  those  that 
were  profane,  and  strangers  to  God  and  godliness. 
The  posterity  of  Seth  did  not  keep  by  themselves, 
as  they  ought  to  have  done,  both  for  the  preserva- 
tion of  their  own  purity,  and  in  detestation  of  the 
apostasy;  they  intermingled  themselves  with  the 
excommunicated  race  of  Cain;  they  took  them  wh>es 
of  all  that  they  chose.  But  what  was  amiss  in  these 
marriages?  (1.)  They  chose  only  by  the  eye;  Mey 
savj  that  they  were  fair,  which  was  all  they  looked  at. 
(2.)  They  followed  the  choice  which  their  own  cor- 
rupt affections  made;  they  took  all  that  they  chose, 
without  advice  and  consideration.  But,  (3. ) 'I'hat 
which  proved  of  such  Ijad  consequence  to  them, 
was,  that  they  married  strange  wives,  were  un- 
equally yoked  with  unbelievers,  2 Cor.  6.  14.  This 
was  forbidden  to  Isr  ael,  Dent.  7.  3,  4.  It  was  the 
unhappy  occasion  of  Solomon’s  ajjostasy,  1 Kings 
11.  1..4.  and  was  of  bad  consequence  to  the  Jews 
after  their  return  out  of  Bal)ylon,  Kzra  9.  1,  2. 
Note,  Professors  of  religion,  in  marrying  both  them- 
selves and  their  children,  should  make  conscience 
of  keeping  within  the  bounds  of  profession.  The 
oa^l  will  sooner  debauch  the  good  than  the  good  re- 


I form  the  bad.  Those  that  profess  themselves  the 
children  of  God,  must  not  marry  without  his  con  - 
sent,  which  they  have  not,  if  they  join  in  affinity 
with  his  enemies. 

3.  And  the  Lord  said,  My  Spirit  shall 
nob  alw^ays  strive  with  man,  for  that  he  also 
is  flesh ; yet  his  days  shall  be  an  hundreO 
and  twenty  years. 

This  comes  in  here,  1.  As  a token  of  God’s  dis 
pleasure  at  those  who  married  strange  wives;  he 
threatens  to  withdraw  his  Spirit  from  them,  whom 
they  had  grieved  by  such  marriages,  contrary  to 
their  convictions.  Fleshly  lusts  are  often  punished 
with  spiritual  judgments,  the  sorest  of  all  judg- 
ments. Or,  2.  As  another  occasion  of  the  great 
wickedness  of  the  old  world;  the  Spirit  of  the  Lord, 
being  provoked  by  their  resistance  of  his  motions, 
ceased  to  strive  Avith  them,  and  then  all  religion 
Avas  soon  I'^st  among  them.  This  he  warns  them 
of  before,  that  they  might  not  further  vex  his  holy 
Spirit,  but  by  their  prayers  might  stay  him  with 
them.  Observe  in  this  verse, 

1.  God’s  resolution  not  always  to  strive  Avith  man 
by  his  Spirit.  The  Spirit  then  strove  by  Noah’s 
preaching,  1 Pet.  3.  19,  20,  and  by  inward  checks; 
but  it  was  in  vain  with  the  most  of  men;  therefore, 
says  God,  He  shall  not  always  strive.  Note,  (1.) 
The  blessed  Spirit  strives  with  sinners,  by  the  con- 
victions and  admonitions  of  conscience,  to  tuni  them 
from  sin  to  God.  (2.)  If  the  Spirit  be  resisted, 
quenched,  and  striven  against;  though  he  strive 

I long,  he  Avill  not  strive  ahvays,  Hos.  4.  17.  (3.) 

Those  are  ripening  apace  for  ruin,  Avhom  the  Spirit 
of  grace  has  left  off  striving  Avith. 

2.  The  reason  of  that  resolution;  For  that  he  also 
is  flesh,  that  is,  incurably  corrupt,  and  canial,  and 
sensual,  so  that  it  is  laliour  lost  to  strive  with  him. 
Can  the  Ethiopian  change  his  skin?  He  also,  that 
is.  All,  one  as  well  as  another,  they  are  all  sunk 
into  the  mire  of  flesh.  Note,  (1.)  It  is  the  corru])t 
nature,  and  inclination  of  the  soul  tOAvard  the  flesh, 
that  oi)pose  the  Spirit  s strivings,  and  render  them 
ineffectual.  (2. ) When  a sinner  has  long  adhered 
to  that  interest,  and  sided  with  the  flesh  against  the 
Spirit,  the  Spirit  justly  Avithdraws  h s agency,  and 
strives  no  more.  None  lose  the  Spirit’s  strivings, 
but  those  that  haA'e  first  forfeited  them. 

3.  A reprieve  granted,  notAvithstanding;  yet  his 
days  shall  be  120  years;  so  long  I will  defer  the 
judgment  they  deseiwe,  and  give  them  space  to 
prevent  it  by  their  repentance  and  reformation. 
Justice  said.  Cut  them  down;  but  mercy  interceded. 
Lord,  let  them  alone  this  year  also;  and  so  far  mercy 
prevailed,  that  a reprieve  was  obtained  for  six-score 
years.  Note,  The  time  of  God’s  patience  and  for- 
bearance toAvard  provoking  sinners  is  sometimes 
long,  but  ahvaA's  limited:  reprieves  are  not  par- 
dons; though  God  bear  a great  Avhile,  he  will  not 
bear  always. 

4.  'J'here  wore  e;mnts  in  the  earth  in  those 
(lays;  and  also  after  that,  when  the  sons  of 
God  eaine  in  unto  the  daughters  of  men, 
and  tliey  bare  chtldrcii  to  them,  the  same 
became  mighty  men,  tehieh  icerc  of  old,  men 
of  renown:  5.  And  God  saw  that  the 
wiekedness  of  man  teas  great  in  the  eartli, 
and  tliat  every  imagination  of  the  thoughts 
of  his  heart  was  only  evil  continually. 

M’e  have  here  a further  account  of  the  corrup 
tion  of  the  old  Avorld.  When  the  sons  of  God  had 
matched  with  the  daughters  of  men,  though  it  was 
very  displeasing  to  God,  yet  he  did  not  immediately 


61 


GENESIS,  VI. 


ciit  Them  oft,  but  waited  to  see  what  the  issue  of  i| 
these  marriages  w’ould  be,  and  which  side  the  chil-  j 
dren  would  take  after;  and  it  proved,  (as  it  usu- 
ally does,)  that  they  took  after  the  woi-st  side. 
Here  is, 

I.  The  temptation  they  were  under  to  oppress  i 
and  do  violence;  they  were  g-iants,  they  were  men 
of  renoTjn;  they  became  too  hard  for  all  about  | 
them,  and  carried  all  before  them,  1.  W'ith  their 
great  bulky  as  the  sons  of  Anak,  Numb.  13.  33,  and 
2.  With  their  ejeat  name,  as  the  king  of  Assyria,  ' 
Isa.  3r.  11.  Tnese  made  them  the  terror  oj"  the  ji 
mighty  in  the  land  of  the  Iwing;  and  thus  armed,  I 
they  daringly  insulted  the  rights  of  all  their  neigh-  jj 
hours,  aiul  trampled  upon  all  that  is  just  and  sacred.  ' 
Note,  Those  that  have  so  much  power  over  othei-s  li 
as  to  be  able  to  oppress  them,  have  seldom  so  much  ■ 
power  over  themselves  as  not  to  oppress;  great 
might  is  a very  great  snare  to  ma^'.  This  dege- 
nerate race  slighted  the  honour  their  ancestors  had 
obtained  by  virtue  and  religion,  and  made  them- 
selves a ^reat  name  by  that  which  was  the  per- 
petual ruin  of  their  good  name. 

II.  The  charge  exhibited  and  proved  against 
them,  V.  5.  The  evidence  produced  was  incontes- 
table; God  saw  it,  and  that  is  instead  of  a thousand 
witnesses.  God  sees  all  the  wickedness  that  is 
among  the  children  of  men;  it  cannot  be  concealed 
from  him  now',  and  if  it  be  not  repented  of,  it  shall 
not  be  concealed  by  him  shortly.  Now,  what  did 
God  take  notice  of  r 

1.  He  observed  all  the  streams  of  sin  that  flowed 
along  in  men’s  lives,  and  the  breadth  and  depth  of 
those  streams;  he  saw  that  the  wickedness  of  man  was 
great  in  the  earth.  Obsen  e the  connection  of  this 
with  what  goes  before;  the  oppressors  were  mighty 
men,  and  men  of  renown;  and  then  God  saw  that  I 
the  wickedness  of  man  vjas  great.  Note,  The  wick- 
edness of  a people  is  great  indeed,  when  the  most 
notorious  sinners  are  men  of  renown  among  them. 
Things  are  bad,  when  bad  men  are  not  only  honour- 
ed notwit/Ktanding  their  wickedness,  but  honoured 
for  their  wickedness,  and  the  vilest  men  exalted;  I 
w'ickedness  is  then  great,  when  great  men  are 
wicked.  Their  wickedness  was  great,  that  is, 
abundance  of  sin  was  committed  in  idl  places,  by  all 
soils  of  people;  and  such  sin  as  was  in  its  own  na- 
ture most  gross,  and  lieinous,  and  provoking;  and 
committed  daringly,  and  with  a defiimce  of  heaven; 
nor  was  any  care  taken  by  those  who  had  power  in 
their  hands,  to  restrain  and  punish  it.  This  God 
saw’.  Note,  All  the  sins  of  sinners  are  known  to 
God  the  Judge:  those  that  are  most  convei*siuit  in 
the  w’orld,  though  they  see  much  wickedness  in  it, 
yet  they  see  but  little  of  that  which  is;  but  God 
sees  all,  and  Judges  aright  concerning  it,  how  ^-eat 
it  is,  nor  can  he  be  deceived  in  his  judgment. 

2.  He  observed  the  fountain  of  sin  that  was  in 

men’s  hearts:  any  one  might  see  that  the  wickedness 
of  man  was  great,  for  tliey  declared  their  sin  as  1 
Sodom ; but  God’s  eye  went  further;  he  saw  that 
ex'ery  imagination  of  the  thoughts  of  his  heart  was 
only  ri'il  continually.  A sad  sight,  and  ven*  often-  I 
sive  to  God’s  holy  eye!  This  was  the  bitter  root,  | 
the  corrupt  spring:  all  the  violence  and  oppres-  ! 
sion,  all  the  luxurv  and  wantonness,  that  were  in  i 
the  world,  proceeded  fi-om  the  correption  of  na-  | 
ture;  lust  conceived  them.  Jam.  1.  15.  See  Matth. 
15.  19.  (1.)  The  Arnrt  was  naught:  that  was  de- 

ceitful and  desperately  wicked;  the  principles  were 
corrupt,  and  the  habits  and  dispositions  evil.  (2.) 
The  thoughts  of  the  heart  were  so;  thought  is  some- 
times taken  for  the  settled  judgment  or  opinion,  and 
that  was  bribed,  and  biassed,  and  misled;  some- 
times for  the  w orkings  of  the  fancy,  and  those 
were  always  either  viiin  or  vile,  either  weaving  the 
spider’s  web,  or  hatching  the  cocatrice’s  eggs.  (3. ) 


The  imagination  of  the  thoughts  of  the  heart  was 
so,  that  is,  their  designs  and  devices  were  wick- 
ed. They  did  not  do  evil  only  through  careless- 
iiess,  as  those  that  walk  at  all  adventures,  not  heed 
ing  what  they  do;  but  they  did  evil  deliberatelv,  and 
designedly,  contrii  ing  how  to  do  mischief.  It  was 
bad  indeed;  for  it  was  only  evil,  continually  evil, 
and  ex'p'y  imagination  was  so.  There  was  no  good 
to  be  found  among  them,  no  net  at  anytime:  the 
stream  of  sin  was  lull,  and  strong,  and  constant;  and 
Go<l  saw  it;  see  Ps.  14.  1..3. 

6.  And  it  repented  the  Lord  that  he  had 
made  man  on  the  earth,  and  it  grieved  him 
at  his  heart:  7.  And  the  Lord  said,  J 
will  destroy  man  whom  I have  created 
tVom  the  face  of  the  earth ; both  man,  and 
beast,  and  the  creeping  thing,  and  the  fowls 
ol  the  air ; for  it  repenteth  me  that  1 have 
made  them. 

Here  is, 

I.  God’s  resentment  of  man’s  wickedness;  he  did 
not  see  it  as  an  unconcerned  spectator,  but  as  one 
injured  and  affronted  by  it;  he  saw  it  as  a tender  fa- 
ther sees  the  folly  and  stubbornness  of  a rebellious 
and  disobedient  child,  which  not  only  angers  him, 
but  grieves  him,  and  makes  him  wish"  he  had  been 
written  childless.  The  expressions  here  used,  are 
ven’  strange.  It  repented  the  Lord  that  he  had 
made  man  upon  the  earth,  that  he  had  made  a crea- 
ture of  such  noble  powers  and  faculties,  and  had 
put  him  on  this  earth,  which  he  built  and  furnished 
on  purpose  to  be  a convenient,  comfortable  habita- 
tion for  him ; and  it  griex'ed  him  at  his  heart.  These 
are  expressions  after  the  manner  of  men,  and  must 
be  undei-stood  so  as  not  to  reflect  upon  the  honour 
of  God’s  immutability  or  felicitv. 

1. ^  It  does  not  bespeak  any  passion  or  uneasiness 
in  God;  (nothing  can  create  disturbance  to  the  eter- 
nal mind;)  but  it  bespeaks  his  just  and  holv  displea- 
sure against  sin  and  sinners;  against  sin  as  odious  to 
his  holiness,  and  against  sin  as  obnoxious  to  his  jus- 
tice. He  is  pressed  bv  the  sins  of  his  creatures, 
Amos  2.  13,  wearied,  Isa.  43.  24,  broken,  Ezek.  6. 
9,  griei’ed,  Ps.  95.  10,  and  here,  griex’ed  to  the 
heart,  as  men  are  when  they  are  wronged  and 
abused  by  those  thev  have  been  verv  kind  to,  and 
therefore  repent  of  their  kindness,  and  wish  they 
had  never  fostered  that  snake  in  their  bosom,  which 
now  hisses  in  their  face,  and  stings  them  to  the 
heart.  Does  God  thus  hate  sin?  And  shall  not  we 
hate  it?  Has  our  sin  gi-ieved  him  to  the  heart? 
And  shall  not  we  be  grieved  and  pricked  to  the 
heart  for  it  ? O that  this  consideration  might  humble 
us,  and  shame  us,  and  that  we  mav  look  on  him  whom 
we  have  thus  grieved,  imd  mourii!  Zech.  12.  10. 

2.  It  does  not  bespeak  any  change  in  God’s  mtnd; 
for  he  is  in  one  mind,  and  who  can  turn  him?  ^^’ith 
him  there  is  no  variableness.  But  it  bespeaks  a 
clnmge  of  his  way;  when  God  had  made  man  up- 
right,  Ae  rested  and  was  refreshed,  Exod.  31.  ir, 
and  his  way  toward  him  was  such  as  showed  ht 
w;\s  pleased  with  the  work  of  his  own  hands;  but 
now  that  man  was  apostatized,  he  could  not  do 
otherwise  than  show  himself  displeased:  so  that  the 
change  was  in  man,  not  in  God.  God  repented  that 
he  had  made  mim;  but  we  never  find  him  repenting 
that  he  redeemed  man,  though  that  was  a work  o^ 
much  greater  expense,  because  special  and  effec- 
tual grace  is  given  to  secure  tlie  great  ends  of  re- 
demption; so  that  those  gifts  and  callings  are  with- 
out repentance,  Rom.  11.  29. 

II.  God’s j’esolution  to  destrov  man  for  his  wick- 
edness, T’.  7.  Obsene,  1.  ^^’llen  God  repented 
that  he  had  made  man,  he  resolved  to  destroy  man. 


62 


GENESIS,  VI. 


Thus  they  that  truly  repent  of  sin,  will  resolve,  in  ] 
the  strength  of  God’s  grace,  to  mrrtify  sin,  and  t.)  ' 
destroy  it,  and  so  to  undo  what  they  liave  done  ' 
amiss;  we  do  but  mock  God  in  saying  that  we  are  i 
sorry  for  our  sin,  and  that  it  grie\  es  us  to  the  heart,  , 
if  we  continue  to  indulge  it.  In  vain  do  we  pretend  ! 
a change  of  our  mind,  if  we  do  not  evidence  it  by  a j 
change  of  our  ’tvay.  2.  He  resolves  to  destroy  j 
man;  the  original  word  is  very  significant,  I nvtll  \ 
wi/ie  off  man  from  the  earth,  (so  seme,)  as  dirt  or  [ 
filth  is  wiped  off  from  a place  which  should  be  ! 
clean,  and  is  thrown  to  the  dunghill,  the  preper  , 
place  for  it.  See  2 Kings  21.  13.  These  that  are  i 
the  spots  of  the  places  they  live  in,  are  justly  wiped  I 
away  by  the  judgments  of  God.  I %vill  blot  out 
man  from  the  earth,  (so  others,)  as  those  lines  are 
blotted  cut  cf  a book,  which  displease  the  author; 
or,  as  the  name  cf  a citizen  is  blotted  out  of  the 
rolls  of  the  freemen,  when  he  is  dead,  or  disfran- 
chised. 3.  He  speaks  of  man  as  his  own  creature 
then,  when  he  resolves  upon  his  ruin,  Man  whom  I 
have  created;  “Though  I have  created  him,  that 
shall  not  excuse  him.”  Isa.  27.  11,  He  that  made 
him,  will  not  save  him;  he  that  is  our  Creator,  if  he 
shall  not  be  our  Ruler,  will  be  our  Destroyer.  Or, 

“ Because  I have  created  him,  and  he  has  been  so 
undutiful  and  so  ungrateful  to  his  Creator,  therefore 
I will  destroy  him:”  those  forfeit  their  lives  that  do 
not  answer  the  end  of  their  living.  4.  Even  the 
bimte  creatures  were  to  be  involved  in  this  destme- 
tion.  Beasts  and  creejiing  things,  and  the  fowl  of  the 
air.  These  were  made  for  man,  and  therefore 
must  be  destroyed  with  rvrm-,  for  it  follows.  It  re- 
fienteth  me  that  I have  made  them;  for  the  end  cf 
their  creation  also  was  frustrated;  they  were  made, 
that  man  might  serve  and  honour  God  with  them; 
and  therefore  were  destroyed,  because  he  had  serv- 
ed his  lusts  with  them,  and  made  them  subject  to 
vanity.  5.  God  took  up  this  resolution  concerning 
men,  after  his  Spirit  had  been  long  striving  with 
them  in  vain.  None  are  ruined  by  the  justice  of 
God  but  those  that  hate  to  be  reformed  by  the  grace 
of  God. 

8.  But  Noah  found  grace  in  the  eyes  of 
the  Lord.  9.  These  are  the  generations  of 
Noah;  Noah  was  a just  man  and  perfect  in 
his  generations,  and  Noah  walked  with 
God.  10.  And  Noah  begat  three  sons, 
Shem,  Ham,  and  Japheth. 

We  have  here  Noah  distinguished  from  the  rest 
of  the  world,  and  a peculiar  mark  of  honour  put  up- 
on him. 

1.  When  God  was  displeased  with  the  rest  of  the 
world,  he  favoured  Noah,  v.  8,  But  JVoah  found 
grace  in  the  eyes  of  the  Lord.  This  vindicates  God’s 
justice  in  his  displeasure  against  the  world,  and 
shows  that  he  had  strictly  examined  the  chai’acter 
of  every  person  in  it,  before  he  pronounced  it  uni- 
versally corrupt;  for,  there  being  one  good  man,  he 
found  him  out,  and  smiled  upon  him.  It  also  mag- 
nifies his  grace  towards  Noah,  that  he  was  made  a 
vessel  of  God’s  mercy,  when  all  mankind  besides 
were  become  the  generation  of  his  wrath;  distin- 
guishing favours  bring  under  peculiarly  strong  obli- 
gations. Probablv,  Noah  did  not  find  favour  in  the 
eves  of  men ; tliey  hated  and  persecuted  him,  because 
both  by  l\is  life  and  ];rearhing  he  condemned  the 
world:  but  he  found  grace  in  the  eyes  of  the  J.ord, 
and  tiiat  was  honour  and  comfort  enough.  God  made 
more  account  of  Noali  tlian  of  all  the  world  besides; 
and  tliis  made  him  grec.ter  and  more  tndy  honoura- 
ble than  11  the  gian.ts  tliat  were  in  those  davs,  who 
became  miglity  men,  and  men  of  renown.  Let  this 
be  tlie  top  of  your  amliition,  to  find  grace  in  theeijes 
of  the  Lord;  herein  let  us  labour,  that,  present  or 


! absent,  we  may  be  accepted  cf  him,  2 Cor.  5.  9. 
These  are  highly  favoured,  wh^m  God  favours. 

2.  When  the  rest  of  tlie  world  was  corrupt  and 
wicked,  Noah  kept  his  integrity,  v.  9,  Ihese  are 
the  generations  of  H'oah:  this  is  the  account  we  have 
to  give  of  him;  Hoah  was  a just  man.  This  cha 
I racter  of  Noah  comes  in  here  either,  (1.)  As  the 
\ reason  ai  God’s  favour  to  him;  his  singular  piety 
qualified  him  for  singular  tokens  of  God’s  loving 
kindness.  Those  that  would  find  grace  in  the  eyes 
of  the  Lord,  must  be  as  Noah  was,  and  do  as  Noah 
did : God  loves  those  that  love  him : or  (2. ) As  the  ef- 
fet  of  God’s  favour  to  him:  it  was  God’s  good-will 
to  him  that  produced  this  good  work  in  h m ; he  was 
a very  good  man,  but  he  was  no  better  than  the 
grace  ot  God  made  him,  1 Cor.  15.  10.  Now  ob- 
serve his  character;  [1.]  He  was  a just  man,  that 
is,  justified  before  God  by  faith  in  the  promised 
Seed;  for  he  was  an  heir  of  the  righteousoirss  which 
is  by  faith,  Heb.  11.  7.  He  was  sanctified,  and  had 
right  principles  and  dispositions  implanted  in  him; 
and  he  was  righteous  in  his  conversation,  one  that 
made  conscience  of  rendering  to  all  their  due,  to  God 
his  due,  and  to  men  their’s.  Note,  None  but  a 
downright  honest  man,  can  find  favour  with  God; 
that  conversation  which  will  be  pleasing  to  God, 
must  be  governed  by  siinflicity  and  godly  sincerity, 
not  by  fleshly  wisdom,  2 Cor.  1.  12.  God  h ,s  somL 
times  chosen  the  foolish  things  of  the  world,  but  he 
never  chose  the  koiavish  things  of  it.  [2.]  He  was 
perfect,  not  with  a sinless  perfection,  but  a perfec- 
tion of  sincerity;  and  it  is  well  for  us,  that  by  viilue 
of  the  covenant  of  grace,  upon  the  score  of  Christ’s 
righteousness,  sincerity  is  accepted  ;;s  cur  gospel 
perfection.  [3.]  We  walked  w.th  God,  as  Enoch 
had  done  before  him;  he  was  not  only  honest,  but 
devout:  he  walked,  that  is,  he  acted  with  Gcd,  as 
one  always  under  his  eye;  he  lived  a life  of  commun- 
ion with  God;  it  was  his  constant  care  to  conform 
himself  to  the  will  of  God,  to  please  him,  and  to  ap- 
prove himself  to  him.  Note,  God  looks  dorvn  upon 
those  with  an  eye  of  favour,  w’ho  sincerely  look  up 
to  him  with  an  eye  of  faith.  But,  [4.]  That  which 
crowns  his  character,  is,  that  thus  he  was,  and  thus 
he  did,  in  his  generation,  in  that  corrupt  degenerate 
age,  in  which  his  lot  was  cast.  It  is  easy  to  be  reli- 
gious, when  religion  is  in  f.;shion;  but  it  is  an  evi- 
dence of  strong  faith  and  resolution,  to  swim  against 
a stream  to  heaven,  and  to  appear  for  God,  when  no 
one  else  appears  for  him:  so  Noah  did,  and  it  is  upon 
record,  to  his  immortal  honour. 

11.  The  earth  also  was  corrupt  before 
God,  and  the  earth  was  filled  with  violence. 
12.  And  God  looked  upon  the  earth,  and, 
behold,  it  was  corrupt;  for  all  flesh  had  cor- 
rupted his  way  upon  the  earth. 

The  wickedness  of  that  generation  is  here  again 
spoken  of,  1.  As  a foil  to  Noah’s  piety;  he  was  just 
and  perfect,  when  all  the  earth  was 
As  a further  justification  of  God’s  resolution  to  de- 
stroy the  world,  Avhich  he  was  now  about  to  com- 
municate to  his  servant  Noah. 

1.  All  kind  of  sin  was  found  among  them,  for  V.  11, 
it  is  said  that  the  earth  was  (1.)  Corruft  before  God, 
that  is,  in  the  matters  of  God’s  worship  ; either  they 
had  other  gods  before  him,  or,  they  worshipped  him 
l)y  images,  or,  they  were  corrupt  and  wicked  in  de- 
spite and  contempt  of  God,  daring  him  and  defying 
him  to  his  face.  (2.)  The  earth  was  also  filled  with 
violence,  and  injustice  toward  men;  there  was  no  or- 
der or  regular  government;  no  man  was  safe  in  the 
possession  of  that  which  he  had  the  most  clear  and 
incontestable  right  to,  no  not  tlie  most  innocent  life, 
nothing  but  murders,  rapes,  and  rapine.  Note, 
Wickedness,  as  it  is  the  shame  of  the  human  nature 


GENESIS,  VI.  63 


S''  it  IS  the  ruin  of  human  society;  it  takes  away  con- 
science and  the  fear  of  God,  and  men  become  beasts 
. . d devils  to  one  another,  like  the  Jishes  of  the  sea, 
V’hi  re  the  greater  devour  the  lesser.  Sin  fills  the 
e.iith  with  violence,  and  so  turns  the  world  into  a 
wddeniess,  into  a cock-pit. 

2.  I'he  proof  and  evidence  of  it  were  undeniable; 
for  God  looked  ufion  the  earth,  and  w.is  hunself  an 
eye-witness  of  the  c(.rruption  t'.i.it  w<is  in  it,  of  which 
before,  v.  5.  'I'he  rii^hteeus  judge  in  all  his  judg- 
ments proceeds  upon  the  infallible  certainty  of  his 
own  omniscience,  Ps.  33.  13. 

3.  That  which  most  aggravated  the  matter,  was 
the  universal  spreading  of  the  contagion.  All  flesh 
had  corrufited  his  way.  It  was  not  some  particular 
nations  or  cities  that  were  thus  wickecl,  but  the 
whole  world  cf  mankind  were  so:  there  was  none 
that  did  good,  no,  not  one,  beside  Noadi.  Note, 
When  wickedness  is  become  general  and  universal, 
ruin  is  not  far  off;  while  there  is  a remnant  of  pray- 
ing people  in  a nation  to  empty  the  measui-e  as  it 
fills,  judgments  may  be  kept  off  a great  while;  but 
when  all  hands  are  at  work  to  pull  down  the  fences 
by  sin,  and  none  stand  in  the  gap  to  make  up  the 
breach,  what  can  be  expected  but  an  inundation  of 
wrath? 

1 3 And  God  said  unto  Noah,  The  end 
of  all  flesh  is  come  before  me ; for  the  earth 
is  filled  with  violence  through  them ; and, 
behold,  I will  destroy  them  with  the  earth. 
14.  Make  thee  an  ark  of  gopher-wood; 
rooms  shalt  thou  make  in  the  ark,  and  shall 
pitch  it  within  and  without  with  pitch.  15. 
And  this  is  the  fashion  which  thou  shalt  make 
it  of:  The  length  of  the  ark  shall  he  three 
hundred  cubits,  the  breadth  of  it  fifty  cubits, 
and  the  height  of  it  thirty  cubits.  16.  A 
window  shalt  thou  make  to  the  ark,  and  in 
a cubit  shalt  thou  finish  it  above ; and  the 
door  of  the  ark  shalt  thou  set  in  the  side 
thereof;  with  lower,  second,  and  third,  sto- 
ries shalt  thou  make  it.  1 7.  And,  behold, 
r,  even  I,  do  bring  a flood  of  waters  upon 
the  earth,  to  destroy  all  flesh,  wherein  ?sthe 
breath  of  life  from  under  heaven ; and  eveiy 
thing  that  is  in  the  earth,  shall  die.  18.  But 
adth  thee  will  1 establish  my  covenant ; and 
diou  shalt  come  into  the  ark,  thou,  and  thy 
sons,  and  thy  wife,  and  thy  sons’  wives  with 
thee.  19.  And  of  eveiy  living  thing  of  all 
flesh,  two  of  every  sort  shalt  thou  bring  into 
the  ark,  to  keep  them  alive  with  thee ; they  j 
shall  be  male  and  female.  20.  Of  fowls  af- 
ter their  kind,  and  of  cattle  after  their  kind,  I 
of  eveiy  creeping  thing  of  the  earth  after  his  I 
kind,  two  of  every  sort  shall  come  unto  thee, 
to  keep  them  alive.  21 . And  take  thou  unto  j 
thee  of  all  food  that  is  eaten,  and  thou  shalt  i 
gather  it  to  thee  ; and  it  shall  be  for  food  for  j 
thee  and  for  them. 

Here  it  appears  indeed, that  Noah  found  grace  in 
the  eyes  o f the  I.ord;  God’s  favour  to  him  was  plain- 
ly intimated  in  what  he  said  to  him,  'j'.  8.  . 10,  where 
his  name  is  mentioned  five  times  in  five  lines,  when  i 
once  might  have  served  to  make  the  sense  clear,  as 
if  the  Holy  Ghost  took  a pleasure  in  perpetuating 
his  memory:  but  it  appears  much  more  in  what  he 


says  to  him  in  these  verses — the  informations  an  l 
instructions  here  given  him. 

I.  Gcd  here  makes  Noah  the  man  of  his  counsel; 
communicating  to  him  his  pui-pose  to  destroy  this 
wicked  world  by  water,  as,  afterwai’d,  he  told  Abra- 
ham his  resolution  concerning  Sodom,  ch.  18.  17, 
Shall  I hide  from  Abraham?  So  here.  Shall  I hide 
from  Noah,  the  thing  that  I do,  seeing  that  he  shall 
become  a great  nation?  Note,  The  secret  of  the  Lord 
is  with  them  that  fear  him,  Ps.  25.  14;  it  was  with 
his  serx'ants  the  /irophets,  Amos  3.  7,  by  a spirit  of 
revcLhion,  informing  them  particularly  of  his  pur- 
poses ; it  is  with  all  believers,  by  a spirit  of  wisdom 
and  faith,  enabling  to  understand  and  apply  the  ge- 
nenil  declarations  of  the  wi'itten  word,  and  the  w arn- 
ings  there  given. 

Is'ow,  1.  Gt;d  told  Noah,  in  general,  that  he  w’ould 
destroy  the  world,  v.  13,  77ie  end  of  all  flesh  ii 
come  before  me;  I will  destroy  them,  that  is.  The 
ruin  of  this  wicked  world  is  decreed  and  determin- 
ed; it  is  come-,  that  is,  it  will  come  surely,  and  come 
quickly.  Noah,  it  is  likely,  in  preaching  to  his 
neighbours,  had  warned  them,  in  general,  of  the 
wratli  of  God  tliat  they  would  bring  upon  themselves 
by  their  wickedness,  and  now  God  seconds  it  by  a 
particular  denunciation  of  wrath,  that  Noah  might 
trj'  if  that  would  work  upon  them ; whence  observe, 
(1.)  That  God  confirmeth  the  words  of  his  messen- 
gers, Isa.  44.  26.  (2.)  That  fo  him  that  has, 
what  he  has  for  the  good  of  others,  more  shall  be 
given,  more  full  instructions.  2.  He  told  him  par- 
ticularly, that  he  would  destroy  the  world  by  -eL  flood 
of  waters,  v.  17,  And  behold,  I,  emen  I,  do  bring  a 
flood  of  waters  upon  the  earth.  God  could  have  de- 
stroyed all  mankind  by  the  sword  of  an  _angel,  a 
flaming  sword  turning  every  way,  as  he  destroyed 
all  the  first-born  of  the  Egyptians,  and  the  camp  of 
the  Assyrians  ; and  then  there  needed  no  more  than 
to  set  a mark  upon  Noah  and  his  family  for  their 
preservation  ; but  God  chose  to  do  it  by  a Rood  of 
waters,  which  should  drowm  the  world.  The  rea- 
sons, we  may  be  sure,  were  wise  and  just,  though  to 
us  unknown.  God  has  many  arrows  in  his  quiver, 
and  he  may  use  which  he  pleases:  as  he  chooses  the 
rod  with  which  he  will  correct  his  children,  so  he 
chooses  the  sword  with  which  he  will  cut  eff  his 
enemies. 

Observe  the  manner  of  expression,  J,  emen  I,  do 
bring  a flood;  I that  am  infinite  in  power,  and  there- 
fore can  do  it,  infinite  in  justice,  and  therefore  will 
do  it.  (1.)  It  bespeaks  the  certainty  of  the  judg- 
ment; I,  even  I,  will  do  it;  that  cannot  but  be  done 
effectually,  which  God  himself  undertakes  the  doing 
of;  see  Job  11.  10.  (2.)  It  bespeaks  the  tendency  of 
it  to  God’s  glory,  and  the  honour  of  his  justice;  thus 
he  will  be  magnified  and  exalted  in  the  earth,  and 
all  the  world  shall  be  made  to  know  that  he  is  the 
God  to  whom  vengeance  belongs:  methinks  the  ex- 
pression here  is  somewhat  like  that,  Isa.  1.  24,  Ah, 
I will  ease  me  of  mine  adversaries. 

II.  God  here  makes  Noah  the  man  of  his  cove- 
nant, another  Hebrew  periphrasis  of  a friend,  v.  18, 
But  with  thee  will  I establish  my  covenant.  1.  The 
covenant  of  providence-,  that  the  course  of  nature  shall 
be  continued  to  the  end  of  time,  notwithstanding  the 
inten-uption  which  the  flood  would  give  to  it;  this 
promise  was  immediately  made  to  Noah  andliis  sons, 
ch.  9.  8,  &c.  They  were  as  trustees  for  all  this  part 
of  the  creation,  and  a gi'eat  honour  was  thereljy  put 
upon  him  and  his.  2.  The  covenant  qI grace;  that 
God  would  be  to  him  a God,  and  that  out  of  his  seed 
God  would  take  to  himself  a people.  Note,  (1.) 
\A’^hen  God  makes  a covenant,  he  establishes  it,  he 
makes  it  sure,  he  makes  it  good;  his  are  everlasting 
covenants.  (2. ) The  covenant  of  gi’ace  has  in  it  the 
recompense  rf  singular  services,  and  the  fountain 
and  foundation  of  all  distinguishing  favours;  we  need 


GENESIS,  VI. 


desii  e no  more,  either  to  make  up  our  losses  for 
God,  or  to  make  up  a happiness  for  us  in  God,  than 
to  have  his  covenant  established  with  us. 

III.  God  here  makes  Noah  a monument  of  spar- 
ing mercy,  by  putting  him  in  a way  to  secure  himself 
in  the  approaching  deluge,  that  he  might  not  perish 
with  the  rest  of  the  world.  / will  destroy  them, 
says  God,  with  the  earth,  v.  13.  “But  ma/ce  thee 
an  ark;  I will  take  care  to  preserve  thee  alive.  ” 
Note,  Singular  piety  shall  be  recompensed  with  dis- 
tinguishing salvations,  which  arc  in  a special  manner 
obliging.  This  will  add  much  to  the  honour  and 
happiness  of  glorified  saints,  that  they  shall  be  sav- 
ed, when  the  greatest  part  of  the  world  is  Iclt  to 
perish. 

Now,  1.  God  directs  Noah  to  make  an  ark,  v.  14. 
16.  This  ark  was  like  the  hulk  of  a ship,  fitted  not 
to  sail  upon  the  waters,  (there  was  no  occasion  for 
that,  when  there  should  be  no  shore  to  sail  to, ) but 
to  foat  upon  the  waters,  waiting  for  their  fall.  God 
could  have  secured  Noah  by  the  ministration  of  an- 
gels, without  putting  him  to  any  care  or  pains  or 
trouble,  himself;  but  he  chose  to  employ  him  in 
making  that  which  was  to  be  the  means  ot  his  pre- 
ser\'ation,  both  for  the  trial  of  his  faith  and  obedi- 
ence, and  to  teach  us  that  none  shall  be  saved  by 
Christ,  but  those  only  that  work  out  their  salvation; 
we  cannot  do  it  without  God,  and  he  will  not  with- 
out us:  both  the  providence  of  God,  and  the  grace 
of  God,  own  and  crown  the  endeavours  of  the  obedi- 
ent and  diligent. 

God  gave  him  very  particular  instructions  con- 
cerning this  building,  which  could  not  but  be  admi- 
rably well-fitted  for  the  purpose,  when  Infinite  Wis- 
dom itself  was  the  Architect.  (1.1  It  must  be  made 
of  gopher  w >od:  Noah,  doubtless  knew  what  sort  of 
wood  that  was,  though  now  we  do  not,  whether  ce- 
dar, or  cvpress,  or  what  other.  (2. ) He  must  make 
it  three  stories  high  within.  (3. ) He  must  divide  it 
into  cabins,  with  partitions,  places  fitted  for  the  se- 
veral sorts  of  creatures,  so  as  to  lose  no  room.  (4. ) 
Exact  dimensions  are  given  him,  that  he  might 
make  it  proportionable,  and  might  have  room 
enough  in  it  to  answer  the  intention,  and  no  more. 
Note,  [1.]  Those  that  work  for  God,  must  take 
their  measures  from  him,  and  carefully  observe 
them.  [2.  ] It  is  fit  that  he  who  appoints  us  our  ha- 
bitation, should  fix  the  bounds  and  limits  of  it.  (5. ) 
He  must  pitch  it  within  and  without;  without,  to 
shed  off  the  rain,  and  to  prevent  the  water  from 
soaking  in;  nvithin,  to  take  away  the  ill  smell  of  the 
beasts,  when  kept  cTse.  Observe,  God  does  not 
bid  him  paint  it,  but  pitch  it.  If  God  give  us  habi- 
tations that  are  safe,  and  warm,  and  wholesome,  we 
are  bound  to  be  thankful,  though  they  are  not  mag- 
nificent or  nice.  (6.)  He  must  make  a little  window 
toward  the  top,  to  let  in  light,  and  (some  think)  that 
through  that  window  he  might  behold  the  desola- 
tions to  be  made  in  the  earth.  (7.)  He  must  make 
a door  in  the  side  of  it,  by  which  to  go  in  and  out. 

2.  God  promises  Noah,  that  he  and  his  should  be 
preserved  alive  in  the  ai’k,  v.  18,  Thou  shall  come 
into  the  ark.  Note,  What  we  do  in  obedience  to 
God,  we  ourselves  are  likely  to  have  the  comfort 
and  benefit  of;  If  thou  be  wise,  thou  shaltbe  wise  for 
thyself  Nor  was  he  himself  only  saved  in  the  ark, 
but  his  wife,  and  his  sons,  and  his  sons'  wives.  Olj- 
serve,  (1.  ) The  care  of  good  parents;  they  are  soli- 
citous not  only  for  their  own  salvation,  but  for  the 
salvation  of  their  families,  and  especially  their  chil- 
dren. (2. ) The  happiness  of  those  children  that 
have  godly  parents;  their  parents’  piety  often  pro- 
cures them  temporal  salvation,  as  here;  and  it  fur- 
thers them  in  the  way  to  eternal  salvation,  if  they 
improve  the  benefit  of  it. 

IV.  God  here  makes  Noah  a great  blessing  to  the 
world,  and  herein  makes  him  an  eminent  type  of 


the  Messiah,  though  not  the  Messiah  himsell,  as 
his  parents  expected,  ch.  5.  29. 

1.  God  made  him  a preacher  to  the  men  of  that 
generation.  As  a watchman,  he  received  the  word 
i[rcm  God’s  mouth,  that  he  might  give  them  wait- 
ing, Ezek.  3.  17.  Thus  while  the  long-suffering 
of  God  waited,  by  his  spirit  in  Noah,  he  preached 
to  the  old  world,  who,  when  St.  Peter  wrote,  were 
spirits  in  prison,  1 Pet.  3.  18..  20,  and  herein  he 
was  a type  of  Christ,  who,  in  a land  and  age 
wherein  all  Jiesh  had  corrupted  their  way,  went 
about  preaching  repentance,  and  waming  men  of  a 
deluge  of  wrath  coming. 

2.  God  made  him  a saviour  to  the  inferior  crea- 
tures, to  keep  the  several  kinds  of  them  from 
T^rishing  and  being  lost  in  the  deluge,  v.  19.  . 21. 
This  was  a gi’eat  honour  put  upon  him,  that  not 
only'  in  him  the  race  of  mankind  should  be  kept  up, 
and  thatfi’om  him  should  proceed  a new  world,  the 
church,  the  soul  of  that  world,  and  Messiah,  the 
Head  of  that  church;  but  that  he  should  be  instru- 
mental to  preserve  the  inferior  creatures,  and  so 
mankind  shoidd  in  him  acquire  a new  title  to  them 
and  their  service.  (1.)  He  was  to  provide 

for  them,  that  they  might  not  be  drowned.  T%vo  of 
every  sort,  male  and  female,  he  must  take  with  him 
into  the  ark;  and  lest  he  should  make  any  difficulty' 
of  gathering  them  together,  and  getting  them  in, 
God  promises,  v.  20,  that  they  should  of  their  own 
accord  come  to  him.  He  that  makes  the  ox  to 
know  his  owner  and  his  crib,  then  made  him  know 
his  preserver  and  his  ark.  (2.)  He  was  to  provide 
sustenance  for  them,  that  they  might  not  be  starved, 

V.  21.  He  must  victual  his  ship  according  to  the 
number  of  his  crew,  that  gi’eat  family  which  he  had 
now  the  charge  of,  and  according  to  the  time  ap- 
pointed for  his  confinement.  Herein  also  he  was  a 
type  of  Christ,  to  whom  it  is  owing  that  the  world 
stands,  by  whom  all  things  consist,  and  ivho  pre- 
serves mankind  from  being  totally  cut  oiT  and  ruin- 
ed by  sin;  in  him  the  holy  seed  is  saved  alive,  and 
the  creation  rescued  from  the  vanity  under  which  it 
groans.  Noah  saved  those  whom  he  was  to  rule, 
so  does  Christ,  Heb.  5.  9. 

22.  Thus  did  Noah,  according  to  all  tha: 
God  commanded  him,  so  did  he. 

Noah’s  care  and  diligence  in  building  the  ark  may 
be  considered, 

1.  As  an  effect  of  his  faith  in  the  word  of  God, 
God  had  told  him  he  would  shortly  drown  the 
world ; he  believed  it,  feared  the  threatened  deluge, 
and,  in  that  fear,  prepared  the  ark._  Note,  We 
ought  to  mix  faith  with  the  revelation  God  has 
made  of  his  wrath  against  all  ungodliness  and  un- 
righteousness of  men;  the  threatenings  of  the  word 
are  not  false  alarms.  Much  might  have  been  ob- 
jected against  the  credibility  of  this  warning  given 
to  Noah.  “Who  could  believe  that  the  wise  God, 
who  made  the  world,  should  so  soon  unmake  it 
again;  who  had  drawn  the  waters  off  the  dry 
land,  ch.  1.  9,  10,  should  cause  them  to  cover  it 
again?  How  would  this  be  reconciled  with  the 
mercy  of  God,  which  is  over  all  his  works;  especi- 
ally that  the  innocent  creatures  should  die  for  man’s 
sin?  Whence  would  water  be  had  sufficient  to 
deluge  the  world?  And,  if  it  must  be  so,  why 
should  notice  be  given  of  it  to  Noah  only?”  But 
Noah’s  faith  triumphed  over  all  these  coriupt  rea 
sonings. 

2.  As  an  act  of  obedience  to  the  command  of  God; 
had  he  consulted  with  flesh  and  blood,  many  objec- 
tions would  have  been  raised  against  it.  To  rear  a 
building,  such  a one  as  he  never  saw,  so  large,  and 
of  such  exact  dimensions,  would  put  him  upon  a 
great  deal  of  care,  and  labour,  and  expense;  it 
would  be  a work  of  time,  the  vision  was  for  a great 


GENESIS,  Vll.  65 


while  to  come;  his  neighboui*s  would  ridicule  him 
for  his  credulity,  and  he  would  be  the  song  of  the 
drunkards;  his  building  would  be  called  JSToah's 
folly;  if  the  worst  came  to  the  worst,  as  we  say, 
each  would  fare  as  well  as  his  neigivljours.  But 
these,  and  a thousand  such  objections,  Noah  by 
faith  got  over;  his  obedience  was  ready  and  reso-  ! 
lute.  Thus  did  Noah  willingly  and  cheerfully, 
without  murmuring  and  disputing.  God  says,  Do 
this,  and  he  does  it:  it  wa§lklso  punctual  and  perse-  i 
vering;  he  did  all  exactly  according  to  the  instruc- 
tions given  him,  and  having  begun  to  build,  did  not  | 
give  off  till  he  had  finished  it:  so  did  he,  and  so  j 
must  we  do.  [ 

3.  As  an  instance  of  wisdom  for  himself,  thus  to 
provide  for  his  own  safety;  he  feared  the  deluge,  ! 
and  therefore  prepared  the  ark.  Note,  When  God  ' 
gives  warning  of  approaching  judgments,  it  is  our 
wisdom  and  duty  to  provide  accordingly.  See  Exod. 
9.  20,  21.  Ezek.  3.  18.  We  must  prepare  to  meet 
the  Lord  in  his  judgments  on  earth,  flee  to  his  name 
as  a strong  tower.  Prov.  18.  10,  enter  into  our 
chambers,  Isa.  26.  20,  21,  especially  prepare  to 
meet  him  at  death,  and  in  the  judgment  of  the  great 
day,  build  upon  Christ  the  Rock,  Matth.  7.  24,  go 
into  Christ  the  Ark. 

4.  As  intended  for  warning  to  a careless  world: 
and  it  was  fair  warning  of  the  deluge  coming;  every 
blow  of  his  axes  and  hammers  was  a call  to  repent- 
ance, a call  to  them  to  prepare  arks  too.  But  since 
by  it  he  could  not  convince  the  world,  by  it  he  con- 
demned the  world,  Heb.  11.  7. 

CHAP.  VII. 

Id  this  chapter,  we  have  the  performance  of  what  was  fore- 
told in  the  foregoing  chapter,  both  concerning  the  de- 
struction of  the  old  world,  and  the  salvation  of  Noah; 
for  we  may  be  sure  that  no  word  of  God  shall  fall  to  the 
ground.  There  we  left  Noah  busy  about  his  ark,  and 
full  of  care  to  get  it  finished  in  time,  while  the  rest  of  his 
neighbours  were  laughing  at  him  for  his  pains.  Now 
here  we  see  what  was  the  end  thereof;  the  end  of  his  care, 
and  of  their  carelessness.  And  this  famous  period  of  the 
old  world  gives  us  some  idea  of  the  state  of  things,  when 
the  world  that  now  is,  shall  be  destroyed  by  fire,  as  that 
was  by  water.  See  2 Pet.  3.  6,  7.  We  have,  in  this 
chapter,  I.  God’s  gracious  call  to  Noah  to  come  into  the 
ark,  V.  1,  and  to  bring  the  creatures  that  were  to  be  pre- 
served alive,  along  with  him,  v.  2,  3,  in  consideration  of 
the  deluge  at  hand,  v.  4.  II.  Noah’s  obedience  to  this 
heavenly  vision,  v.  5.  When  he  was  six  hundred  years 
old,  he  came  with  his  family  into  the  ark,  v.  6,  7,  and 
brought  the  creatures  along  with  him,  v.  8,  9,  an  account 
of  which  is  repeated,  v.  13.  .16.  to  which  is  added  God’s 
tender  care  to  shut  him  in.  III.  The  coming  of  the 
threatened  deluge,  v.  10,  the  causes  of  it,  v.  11,  12,  the 
prevalency  of  it,  v.  17.  .20.  IV.  The  dreadful  desolations 
that  were  made  by  it  in  the  death  of  every  living  creature 
upon  earth,  except  those  that  were  in  the  ark,  v.  21.  .23. 
V.  The  continuance  of  it  in  full  sea,  before  it  began  to 
ebb,  one  hundred  and  fifty  days,  v.  24. 

1.  A ND  the  Lord  said  unto  Noah,  Come 
1\.  thou,  and  all  thy  house,  into  the  ark ; 
for  thee  have  I seen  righteous  before  me  in 
this  generation.  2.  Of  eveiy  clean  beast 
thou  shalt  take  to  thee  by  sevens,  the  male 
and  his  female : and  of  beasts  that  are  not 
clean  by  two,  the  male  and  his  female.  3. 
Of  fowls  also  of  the  air  by  sevens,  the  male 
and  the  female : to  keep  seed  alive  upon  the 
face  of  all  the  earth.  4.  For  yet  seven 
days,  and  I will  cause  it  to  rain  upon  the 
earth  forty  days  and  forty  nights ; and  every 
living  substance  that  1 have  made  will  I 
destroy  from  off  the  face  of  the  earth. 

Here  is, 

I.  A gracious  invitation  of  Noah  and  his  family 

VoL.  I.~I 


into  a place  of  safety,  now  that  the  flood  of  waters 
v/as  comiiig  on,  v.  1. 

1.  The  call  itself  is  very  kind,  like  that  of  a ten- 
der father  to  his  children,  to  come  in  doors,  when 
he  sees  night  or  a storm  coming;  Come  thou,  ana 
all  thy  house,  that  small  family  that  thou  hast,  into 
the  ark.  Observe,  (l.)Noah  did  not  go  into  the 
ark  till  God  bade  him;  though  he  knew  it  was  de- 
signed for  his  place  of  refuge,  yet  he  waited  for  a 
renewed  command,  and  had  it.  It  is  very  comfort- 
able to  follow  the  calls  of  Providence,  and  to  see 
1 Grjd  going  before  us  in  every  step  we  take.  (2. ) 
God  does  not  bid  him  go  into  the  ark,  but  come  into 
it,  implying  that  God  would  go  with  him,  would 
lead  him  into  it,  accompany  him  in  it,  and  in  due 
time  bring  him  safe  out  cf  it.  Note,  Wherever  we 
are,  it  is  very  desirable  to  have  the  presence  of  God 
with  us,  for  that  is  all  in  all,  to  the  comfort  of  every 
condition.  This  was  it  that  made  Noah’s  ark, 
which  was  a prison,  to  be  to  him  not  only  a refuge, 
but  a palace.  (3.)  Noah  had  taken  a great  deal  of 
pains  to  build  the  ark,  and  now  he  was  himself  pre- 
seiwed  alive  in  it.  Note,  What  we  do  in  obedience 
to  the  command  of  God,  and  in  faith,  we  ourselvei 
shall  certainly  have  the  comfort  of,  first  or  last 
(4.)  Not  he  only,  but  his  house  also,  his  wife  anu 
children,  are  called  with  him  into  the  ark.  Note, 
It  is  good  to  belong  to  the  family  of  a godly  man;  it 
is  safe  and  comfortable  to  dwell  under  such  a sha- 
dow. One  cf  Noah’s  sons  was  Ham,  who  proved 
afterward  a bad  man,  vet  he  was  saved  in  the  ark; 
which  intimates,  [1.]  That  wicked  children  often 
fare  the  better  for  the  sake  of  their  godly  parents. 
[2.]  That  there  is  a mixture  of  bad  with  good  in 
the  best  societies  on  earth,  and  we  are  not  to  think 
it  strange;  in  Noah’s  family  there  was  a Ham,  and 
in  Christ’s  family  there  was  a Judas:  there  is  no 
perfect  purity  on  this  side  heaven.  (6.)  This  call 
to  Noah  was  a type  of  the  call  which  the  gospel 
gives  to  poor  sinners.  Christ  is  an  ark  already  pre- 
pared, in  whom  alone  we  can  be  safe,  when  death 
and  judgment  come;  now  the  burthen  of  the  song 

is,  “Come,  come;”  the  word  says,  “Come;”  mi- 
nisters say,  “Come;”  the  Spirit  says,  “Come, 
come  into  the  ark.” 

2.  The  reason  for  this  invitation  is  a very  honoura- 
ble testimony  to  Noah’s  integrity.  For  thee  have  1 
seen  righteous  before  me  in  this  generation.  Ob- 
serve, (1.)  Those  are  righteous  indeed,  that  are 
righteous  before  God,  that  have  not  only  the  form 
of  godliness  by  which  they  appear  righteous  before 
men,  who  may  easily  be  imposed  upon,  but  the 
power  of  it,  by  which  they  approve  themselves 
to  God,  who  searches  the  heart,  and  cannot  be  de- 
ceived in  men’s  character.  (2. ) God  takes  notice 
of,  and  is  pleased  with,  those  that  are  nghteous  be- 
fore him;  Thee  have  I seen.  In  a world  of  wicked 
people,  God  could  see  one  righteous  Noah;  that 
single  grain  of  wheat  could  not  be  lost,  no  not  in  so 
great  a heap  of  chaff.  The  Lord  knows  them  that 
are  his.  (3. ) God  that  is  a Witness  to,  will  shortly 
Ije  a witness  Vor,  his  people’s  integrity;  he  that  sees 

it,  will  proclaim  it  before  angels  and  men,  to  their 
immortal  honour.  They  that  obtain  mercy  to  be 
righteous  shall  obtain  witness  that  they  are  righte- 
ous. (4.  j God  is,  in  a special  manner,  pleased  with 
those  that  are  good  in  bad  times  and  places.  Noah 
was  therefore  illustriously  righteous,  because  he  was 
so  in  that  wicked  and  adulterous  generation.  (.5. ) 
Those  that  keep  themselves  pure  in  times  of  com- 
mon iniqu:ty,  God  will  keep  safe  in  times  of  com- 
mon calamity;  those  that  partake  not  with  others  in 
their  sins,  shall  not  partake  with  them  in  their 
plagues;  those  that  are  better  than  others,  are,  e\'eii 
in  this  life,  safer  than  others,  and  it  is  better  with 
them. 


hCy  GENESIS,  VII. 


II.  Here  are  necessary  orders  given  conceniing 
the  brute  creatures  that  were  to  be  preserved  ali^  e 
with  Noah  in  the  ark,  v.  2,  3.  They  were  not  ca- 
pable of  receiving  the  warning  and  directions  them- 
selves, as  man  was,  who  herein  is  taught  more  than 
the  beasts  of  the  earth,  and  made  wiser  than  the 
fowls  of  heaxien — that  he  is  endued  with  the  power 
of  foresight;  therefore  man  is  charged  with  the  care 
of  them : being  under  his  dominion,  they  must  be 
under  his  prc  tection ; and  though  he  could  not  secure 
every  individual,  yet  he  must  carefully  preserve 
every  species,  that  no  tribe,  no  not  the  least  con- 
siderable, might  entirely  perish  out  of  the  creation. 
Observe  in  this,  1.  God’s  care  for  man,  and  for  his 
comfort  and  benefit;  we  do  not  find  that  Noah  was 
solicitous  of  himself  about  this  matter;  but  God  con- 
sults our  happiness  more  thtm  we  do  ourselves. 
Though  God  saw  that  the  old  world  was  very  pro- 
voking, and  foresaw  that  the  new  one  would  be  lit- 
tle better;  yet  he  would  preserve  the  brute-crea- 
tures for  man’s  use:  Doth  God  take  care  for  oxen? 
1 Cor.  9.  9.  Or  was  it  not  rather  for  man’s  sake 
that  this  care  was  taken?  2.  Even  the  unclean 
beasts  (which  were  least  valuable  and  profitable) 
were  preserved  alive  in  the  ark;  for  God’s  tender 
mercies  are  over  all  his  works,  and  not  only  over 
those  that  are  of  the  most  eminence  and  use.  3. 
Yet  more  of  the  clean  were  preserved  than  of  the 
unclean,  (1. ) Because  the  clean  were  most  for  the 
service  of  man;  and  therefore,  in  favour  to  him, 
more  of  them  were  preserved,  and  are  still  propa- 
gated. Thanks  be  to  God,  that  there  are  not  herds 
of  lions  as  there  are  of  oxen,  nor  flocks  of  tigers  as 
••here  are  of  sheep.  (2.)  Because  the  clean  were 
for  sacrifice  to  God;  and  therefore  in  honour  to 
him,  more  of  them  were  preserved,  three  couple 
for  breed,  and  the  odd  seventh  for  sacrifice,  ch.  8. 
20.  God  gives  us  six  for  one  in  earthly  things,  as 
in  the  distribution  of  the  days  of  the  week,  that  in 
spiritual  things  we  should  be  all  for  him.  What  is 
devoted  to  God’s  honour,  and  used  in  his  service,  is 
particularly  blessed  and  increased. 

III.  Here  is  notice  given  of  the  now  imminent 
approach  of  the  flood,  v.  4,  Yet  seven  days,  and  I 
will  cause  it  to  rain.  1.  “It  shall  be  seven  days  yet, 
before  I do  it.  ” After  the  120  years  were  expired, 
God  grants  them  a reprieve  of  seven  days  longer; 
both  to  show  how  slow  he  is  to  anger,  and  that 
punishing  work  is  his  strange  work,  and  also  to  give 
them  some  further  space  for  repentance;  but  all  in 
vain;  these  seven  days  were  trifled  away,  after  all 
the  rest;  they  continued  secure  aiul  sensual  until  the 
day  that  the  flood  came.  2.  “It  shall  be  but  seven 
days.  ” While  Noah  told  them  of  the  judgment  at  a 
distance,  they  were  tempted  to  put  off  their  repent- 
ance, because  the  vision  was  for  a great  while  to 
come;  but  now  he  is  ordered  to  tell  them  that  it  is  at 
the  door,  that  they  have  but  one  week  more  to  turn 
them  in,  but  one  sabbath  more  to  improve;  to  see 
if  that  will  now,  at  last,  awaken  them  to  consider 
the  things  that  belonged  to  their  peace,  which 
otherwise  would  soon  be  hidden  from  their  eyes. 
But  it  is  common  for  those  who  have  been  careless 
of  their  souls  during  the  years  of  their  health,  when 
they  have  looked  upon  death  at  a distance,  to  be  as 
careless  during  the  days,  the  seven  days,  of  their 
sickness,  when  they  see  it  approaching,  their  hearts 
being  hardened  by  the  deceitful  ness  of  sin. 

5.  i\nd  Noah  did  accordine;  unto  all  that 
the  Lord  commanded  him.  C.  And  Noah 
was  six  hundred  years  old  when  the  flood 
of  waters  was  upon  the  earth.  7.  And 
Noah  went  in,  and  his  sons,  and  his  wife, 
and  his  sons’  wives  with  him,  into  the  ark, 
because  of  the  waters  of  the  flood.  8.  Of 


clean  beasts,  and  of  beasts  that  are  not 
clean,  and  of  fowls,  and  of  every  thing  that 
creepeth  upon  the  earth.  9.  There  went  in 
t\\'o  and  two  unto  Noah  into  the  ark,  the 
I male  and  the  female,  as  God  had  com- 
manded Noah.  10.  And  it  came  to  pass 
after  seven  days,  that  the  waters  of  the  flood 
were  upon  the  earth. 

Here  is  Ncah’s  j’cady  obedience  to  the  commands 
that  God'gave  him. 

1.  He  went  into  the  ark,  upon  notice  that  the 
flood  wculd  come  after  seven  days,  though,  proba- 
bly, as  yet  there  appeared  no  visible  sign  of  its  ap- 
preach,  no  cloud  arising  that  threatened  it,  nothing 
done  toward  it,  but  all  continued  serene  and  clear; 
for  as  he  prepared  the  ark  by  faith  in  the  warning 
given,  that  the  flood  would  come,  so  he  went  into  it 
by  faith  in  this  waniing,  that  it  ivculd  come  quickly, 
though  he  did  not  see  that  the  second  causes  had  yet 
begun  to  work.  In  every  step  he  took,  he  walked 
by  faith,  and  not  by  sense.  During  these  seven 
days,  it  is  likely,  he  was  settling  himself  and  his 
family  in  the  ark,  and  distributing  the  creatures  into 
their  several  apartments,  which  was  the  conclu- 
sion of  that  visible  sermon  which  he  had  long  been 
preaching  to  his  careless  neighbours,  and  which, 
one  would  think,  might  have  awakened  them;  but, 
not  obtaining  that  desired  end,  it  left  their  blood 
upon  their  own  heads. 

2.  He  took  all  his  family  along  with  him;  his 
wife,  to  be  his  companion  and  comfort;  (though  it 
should  seem  that,  after  this,  he  had  no  children  by 
her;)  his  sons,  and  his  sons’  wives,  that  by  them  not 
only  his  family,  but  the  world  of  mankind,  might  be 
built  up.  Observe,  Though  men  were  to  be  redu- 
ced to  so  small  a number,  and  it  wcxdd  be  very  desi- 
rable to  have  the  world  speedily  repeopled,  yet 
Noah’s  sons  were  to  have  each  of  them  but  cue  wife, 
which  strengthens  the  arguments  against  ha\  ing  ma- 
ny wives;  for  from  the  beginning  of  this  new  world  it 
was  not  so:  as,  at  first,  God  made,  so  now  he  kept 
alive,  but  one  woman  for  one  man;  see  Matth.  19. 
4,  8. 

3.  The  brute-creatures  readily  went  in  with  him: 
the  same  hand  that  at  first  brought  them  to  Adam 
to  be  named,  now  brought  them  to  Noah  to  be  pre- 
served; the  ox  now  knew  his  OAvner,  and  the  ass  his 
protector’s  crib,  nay,  even  the  wildest  creatures 
flocked  to  it;  but  man  was  become  more  brutish  than 
the  brutes  themselves,  and  did  not  know,  did  not 
consider,  Isa.  1.  3. 

11.  In  the  six  hundredth  year  of  Noah’s 
life,  in  the  second  month,  the  seventeenth 
day  of  the  month,  the  same  day  were  all 
the  fountains  of  the  great  deep  broken  up, 
and  the  windows  of  heaven  were  opened. 
12.  And  the  rain  was  upon  the  earth  forty 
days  and  forty  nights. 

I.  The  date  of  this  great  event;  this  is  carefully 
recorded,  for  the  great  certainty  of  the  story. 

1.  It  was  in  the  600th  year  of  Noah’s  life,  which, 
by  computation,  appears  to  be  1656  years  from  the 
creation.  The  years  of  the  old  world  are  reckoned, 
not  by  the  reigns  of  the  giants,  but  by  the  lives  of 
the  patriarchs;  saints  are  of  more  account  with  God 
than  princes:  The  righteous  shall  be  had  in  ever- 
lasting remembrance.  Noah  was  now  a very  old 
man,  even  as  men’s  yeai-s  went  then.  Note,  (1.) 
The  longer  we  live  in  this  world,  the  more  we  see 
of  the  miseries  and  calamities  of  it;  it  is  therefore 
spoken  of  as  the  privilege  of  those  that  die  y^  ung, 
that  their  eyes  shall  not  see  the  evil  which  is  coming. 


67 


GENESIS,  VII. 


2 Ki'.i'^s22.  20.  (2.)  Sometimes  God  exercises  his 

old  :•>  ji-vants  with  extraordinary  ti’ials  of  obedient  pa- 
tience. The  oldest  of  Christ’s  soldiers  must  not 
promise  themselves  a discharge  from  their  waj’fare, 
till  death  discharge  them.  Still  they  must  gird  on 
their  harness,  and  not  boast  as  th  aigh  they  had  put 
it  off.  As  the  year  of  the  deluge  is  recorded,  so, 

2.  We  are  told  that  it  was  in  the  second  month, 
the  s£-’’enteenth  day  of  the  inonth,  which  is  reckoned 
to  be  about  the  lieginning  of  November;  so  that 
Noah  had  had  a harvest  just  before,  from  which  to 
I'ictual  his  ark. 

II.  I'he  second  causes  that  concurred  to  this  de- 
luge; in  the  self-same  day  that  Noah  was  fixed  in 
the  ark,  the  inundation  began.  Note,  1.  Desolating 
judgments  come  not,  till  God  has  provided  for  the 
security  of  his  own  people;  see  ch.  19.  22,  I can  do 
nothing  till  thou  be  come  thither : and  we  find,  Kev. 
7.  3,  the  winds  are  held  till  the  servants  of  God  are 
sealed.  2.  When  good  men  are  removed.  Judg- 
ments are  not  far  off;  for  they  are  taken  away  from 
the  evil  to  come,  Isa.  57.  1.  When  they  are  called 
into  the  chambers,  hidden  in  the  grave,  hidden  in 
heaven,  then  God  is  coming  out  of  his  place  to  pu- 
nish, Isa.  26.  20,  21. 

Now  see  what  was  done  on  that  day,  that  fatal  day 
to  the  v/orld  of  the  ungodly.  1.  The  fountains  of 
the  great  deep  were  broken  up.  Perhaps  there  need- 
ed no  new  creation  of  waters;  what  were  already 
made  to  be,  in  the  common  course  of  providence, 
blessings  to  the  earth,  were  now  by  an  extraordina- 
ry act  of  divine  power,  made  the  ruin  of  it.  God 
has  laid  up  the  deep  in  storehouses,  (Ps.  33.  7.)  and 
now  he  broke  up  those  stores.  As  our  bodies  have 
in  themselves  those  humours,  which,  when  God 
pleases,  become  the  seeds  and  spri  ngs  of  mortal  dis- 
eases; so  the  earth  had  in  its  bowels  those  waters, 
which,  at  God’s  command,  sprang  up,  and  flooded  it. 
God  had,  in  the  creation,  set  bars  and  doors  to  the 
waters  of  the  sea,  that  they  might  not  return  to  cover 
the  earth,  (Ps.  104.  9.  Job  38.  9..  11.)  and  now  he 
only  removed  those  ancient  landmarks,  mounds, 
and  fences;  and  the  waters  of  the  sea  returned  to  cov- 
er the  earth,  as  they  had  done  at  first,  ch.  1.  9. 
Note,  All  the  creatures  are  ready  to  fight  against 
sinful  man,  and  any  of  them  is  able  to  be  the  instru- 
ment of  his  ruin,  if  God  do  l)ut  take  off  the  restraints 
by  which  they  are  held  in,  during  the  day  of  God’s 
patience.  2.  The  windows  of  heaven  were  opened, 
and  the  waters  vjhich  were  above  the  firmament 
were  poured  out  upon  the  world;  those  treasures 
which  God  has  reseiwed  against  the  day  of  trouble, 
the  day  of  battle  and  war.  Job  38.  22,  23.  The  rain, 
which  ordinarily  descends  in  drops,  tlien  came  down 
in  streams,  orsfiouts,  as  they  call  them  in  the  Indies, 
where  clouds  have  been  often  known  to  burst,  as 
they  express  it  there,  when  the  rain  descends  in  a 
much  more  violent  torrent  than  we  have  ever  seen 
in  the  greatest  shower.  We  read.  Job  26.  8,  that 
God  binds  up  the  waters  in  his  thick  clouds,  and  the 
cloud  is  not  rent  under  them  ; but  now  the  boncf.was 
loosed, the  cloud  was  rent,  and  such  rauis  descended 
as  were  never  known  before  or  since,  in  such  abun- 
dance, and  of  such  continuance:  the  thick  cloud  was 
not,  as  ordinarily  it  is,  wearied  with  waterings,  (Job 
37.  11,)  that  is,  soon  spent  and  exhausted;  but  still 
the  clouds  returned  after  the  rain,  and  the  divine 
power  brought  in  fresh  recruits.  It  rained,  without 
intermission  or  abatement,  forty  days  and  fortit 
nights,  (v.  12. ) and  that,  upon  the  whole  ea'rth  at 
once,  not,  as  somctimes,'7//?or2  one  city,  and  not  upon 
another.  God  made  the  world  in  six  days,  but  he 
was  forty  days  in  destroying  it;  for  he  is  slow  to  an- 
ger; out  though  the  destruction  came  slowly  and 
gr.adu  illy,  yet  it  came  effectually. 

Now  learn  from  this,  (1.)  That  all  the  creatures 
are  at  God’s  disposal,  and  that  he  makes  what  use 


he  pleases  of  them,  whether  for  correction,  or  for 
his  land,  or  for  mercy,  as  Elihu  speaks  of  the  rain. 
Job  37.  12,  13.  (2.)  That  God  often  makes  that 

which  should  be  fjr  our  welfare,  to  become  a trap, 
Ps.  69.  22.  That  which  usually  is  a comfort  and 
lienefit  to  us,  becomes,  when  God  pleases,  a scourge 
and  a ])lague  to  us.  Nothing  is  more  needful  or  use- 
ful th  in  Waters,  both  the  springs  of  the  earth,  and 
the  showers  of  heaven;  and  yet  now,  nothing  is  more 
hurtful,  nothing  more  destructive:  every  creature  is 
to  be  what  (iod  m..kes  it.  (3.)  That  it  is  impossi- 
ble to  escape  the  righteous  judgments  of  God,  when 
they  come  against  sinners  with  commission;  for  God 
can  arm  both  heaven  and  earth  against  them;  see 
Job  20.  27.  God  can  surround  men  with  the  mes- 
sengers of  his  wrath,  so  that  if  they  look  upward,  it 
is  with  horror  and  am.izement;  if  they  look  to  the 
behold,  trouble  and  darkness,  Isa.  8.  21,  22. 
Who  then  is  able  to  stand  before  God,  when  he  is 
angry  .>  ( Lastly,)  In  this  destruction  of  the  old 
world  Ijy  water,  God  gave  a specimen  of  the  final 
destniction  of  the  world  that  now  is,  by  fire;  we 
I find  the  apostles  setting  the  one  of  these  over-against 
I the  other,  2 Pet.  3.  6,  7.  As  there  are  waters  un- 
! der  the  earth,  so  /Etna,  Vesuvius,  and  other  volca- 
J noes,  proclaim  to  the  world  that  there  are  subterra- 
ous  jfres  too;  and  fire  often  falls  from  heaven,  many 
desolations  are  made  by  lightning;  so  that  when  the 
time  predetermined  comes,  between  these  two  fires 
the  earth  and  all  the  works  therein  shall  be  burnt 
up;  as  the  flood  was  brought  upon  the  old  world  out 
of  the  fountains  of  the  great  deep,  and  through  the 
windows  of  heaven. 

13.  In  the  self-same  day  entered  Noah, 
and  Shem,  and  Ham,  and.fapheth,  the  sons 
of  Noah,  and  Noah’s  wife,  and  the  three 
wives  of  his  sons  with  them,  into  the  ark ; 
14.  They  and  every  beast  after  his  kind, 
and  all  the  cattle  after  their  kind,  and  every 
creejjing  thing  tliat  creepeth  upon  the  earth 
after  his  kind,  and  every  fowl  after  his  kind, 
every  bird  of  every  sort.  15.  And  they 
went  in  unto  Noah  into  the  ark,  two  and 
two  of  all  flesh,  wherein  is  the  breath  of 
life.  16.  And  they  that  went  in,  went  in 
male  and  female  of  all  flesh,  as  God  had 
commanded  him  : and  the  Lord  shut  him  in. 

Here  is  repeated  what  was  related  before  of  No- 
ah’s entrance  into  the  ark,  with  his  family  and  thf 
creatures  that  were  marked  for  preservation. 

I.  It  is  thus  re])eated,  for  the  honour  of  Noah, 
whose  faith  and  obedience  herein  shone  so  bright, 
by  which  he  obtained  a good  report,  and  who  here- 
in appeared  so  great  a farmurite  of  Heaven,  and  so 
great  a blessing  to  this  earth. 

H.  Notice  is  here  taken  of  the  beasts  going  in 
each  after  his  kind,  according  to  the  phrase  used  in 
the  history  of  the  creation,  ch.  1.  21.. 25,  to  inti- 
mate that  just  as  many  kinds  as  rvere  created  at 
first,  were  saved  now,  and  no  more;  and  that  this 
preservation  was  as  a new  creation;  a life  remai’ka- 
bly  protected,  is,  as  it  were,  a new  life. 

III.  Though  all  enmities  and  hostilities  between 
the  creatures  ceased,  for  the  present,  ai#  ravenous 
creatures  were  not  only  so  mild  and  manageable,  as 
that  the  wolf  and  the  lamb  Ian  down  together,  but 
so  strangely  altered,  as  that  the  Hon  did  eat  straw 
like  an  o.r,  Isa.  11.  6,  7,  yet,  when  this  present  oc- 
casion was  over,  the  restraint  wa.s  taken  olT,  and 
they  were  still  of  the  same  kind  as  ever;  for  the  ark 
did  not  alter  their  constitution.  H’-pocrites  in  the 
church,  that  externally  conform  to  the  laws  of  that 


genesis,  vil 


ark,  may  yet  be  unchanged;  and  then  it  will  appear, 
one  time  or  other,  what  kind  they  are  after. 

IV.  It  is  added,  (and  the  circumstance  deserves 

our  notice,)  7’Ae  Lord  shut  him  in,  v.  16.  As  Noah 
continued  his  obedience  to  God,  so  God  continued  his 
care  of  Noah;  and  here  it  appeared  to  be  a very  dis- 
tinguishing care;  for  the  shutting  of  his  door  set  up 
a partition  wall  between  him  and  all  the  world  be- 
sides. God  shut  the  door,  1.  To  secure  him,  and 
keep  him  safe  in  the  ark.  The  door  must  be  shut 
very  close,  lest  the  waters  should  break  in,  and  sink 
the^  ark,  and  veiy  fast,  lest  any  without  should 
break  it  down.  Thus  God  made  ufi  A'ba/z,  as  he 
makes  ufi  his  jewels,  Mai.  3.  17.  2.  To  seclude  all 

others,  and  keep  them  for  ever  out.  Hitherto,  the 
door  of  the  ark  stood  open,  and  if  any,  even  du- 
ring the  last  seven  days,  had  repented  and  be- 
lieved, for  aught  I know,  they  might  have  been 
welcomed  into  the  ark;  but  now,  the  door  was  shut, 
and  they  were  cut  off  from  all  hopes  of  admittance: 
for  Gol  shutteth,  and  none  can  open. 

V.  There  is  much  of  our  Gospel-duty  and  privi- 
lege to  be  seen  in  Noah’s  preservation  in  the  ark. 
The  apostle  makes  it  a type  of  our  baptism,  that  is, 
our  Christianity,  1 Pet.  3.  20,  21.  Observe  then, 

1.  It  is  our  great  duty,  in  obedience  to  the  gospel- 
call,  by  a lively  faith  in  Christ,  to  come  into  that 
way  of  salvation  which  God  has  provided  for  poor 
sinners.  When  Noah  came  into  the  ark,  he  quit- 
ted his  own  house  and  lands;  so  must  we  quit  our  own 
righteousness  and  our  wci-ldly  possessions,  whenever 
they  come  into  competition  with  Christ.  Noah 
must,  for  a while,  submit  to  the  confinements  and 
inconveniences  of  the  ark,  in  order  to  his  preserva- 
tion for  a new  world;  so  those  that  come  into  Christ 
to  be  saved  by  him,  must  denv  themselves,  both  in 
sufferings  and  services.  2.  Those  that  come  into 
the  ark  themselves,  should  bring  as  many  as  they 
can  in  with  them,  by  good  instimctions,  by  persua- 
sions, and  by  a good  example:  What  knoivest  thou, 

O man,  but  thou  mayest  thus  save  thy  wife,  (1  Cor. 

7.  16.)  as  Noah  did  his.  There  is  room  enough  in 
Christ  for  all  comers.  3.  Those  that  by  faith  come 
into  Christ,  the  Ark,  shall  by  the  power  of  God  be 
shut  in,  and  kept  as  in  a strong  hold  by  the  power  of 
God,  1 Pet.  1.  5.  God  put  Adam  into  paradise,  but 
he  did  not  shut  him  in,  and  so  he  threw  himself  out; 
but  when  he  put  Noah  into  the  ark,  he  shut  him  in, 
and  so  when  he  brings  a soul  to  Christ,  he  insures 
the  salvation:  it  is  not  in  our  own  keeping,  but  in  the 
Mediator’s  hand.  4.  The  door  of  mercy  will  short- 
ly be  shut  against  those  that  now  make  light  rf  it. 
jVbw,  knock,  and  it  shall  be  opened ; but  the  time 
will  come,  when  it  shall  not,  Luke  13.  25. 

17.  And  the  flood  was  forty  days  upon 
the  earth ; and  the  waters  increased,  and 
bare  up  the  ark,  and  it  was  lift  up  above  the 
earth.  18.  And  the  waters  prevailed,  and 
were  increased  greatly  upon  the  earth  ; and 
the  ark  went  upon  the  face  of  the  waters.  1 9. 
And  the  waters  prevailed  exceedingly  upon 
the  earth  ; and  all  the  high  hills,  that  loere 
under  the  whole  heaven,  were  covered.  20. 
Fifteen  cubits  upward  did  the  waters  pre- 
vail ',  and  the  mountains  were  covered. 

We  are.^ere  told, 

1.  How  long  the  flood  was  increasing;ybrti/ r/ays, 
V.  17.  The  profane  world  which  believed  not  that 
it  would  come,  probably,  when  it  came,  flattered 
i bemselves  with  hopes  that  it  would  soon  abate, 
;ind  never  come  to  extremity;  but  still  it  increased, 
it  prevailed.  Note,  (1.)  When  God  judges,  he  will 
overcome.  If  he  begin,  he  will  make  an  end;  his 


way  is  perfect  both  in  judgment  and  mercy.  (2.) 
The  gradual  approaches  and  advances  of  God’s 
judgments,  which  are  designed  to  bring  sinners  to 
repentance,  are  often  abused  to  the  hardening  of 
them  in  their  presumption. 

2.  To  what  degree  they  increased;  they  rose  so 
high,  that  not  only  the  low  flat  countries  were  delu- 
ged, but,  to  make  sure  work,  and  that  none  might 
escape,  the  tops  of  the  highest  mountains  were  over- 
flowed, cubits,  that  is,  seven  yards  and  a half. 

So  that  m vain  was  salvation  hoped  for  from  hills  or 
mountains,  Jer.  3.  23.  None  of  God’s  creatures  are 
so  high,  but  his  power  can  overtop  them;  and  he 
will  make  them  know  that  wherein  they  deal 
proudly,  he  is  abo\  e them.  Perhaps  the  tops  of  the 
mountains  were  washed  down  by  the  strength  of 
the  waters,  which  helped  much  toward  the  prevail- 
ing cf  the  waters  above  them; for  it  is  said.  Job  12. 
15,  He  sends  out  the  waters,  and  they  not  only  over- 
flow, but  overturn,  the  earth.  Thus  the  refuge  cf 
lies  was  swept  away,  and  the  waters  overflowed  the 
hiding-place  of  those  sinners,  (Isa.  28.  17.)  and  in 
vain  they  fly  to  them  for  safety.  Rev.  6.  16.  Now 
the  mountains  departed,  and  the  hills  were  removed, 
and  nothing  stood  a man  in  stead  but  the  covenant  oj 
peace,  Isa.  54.  10.  There  is  no  place  on  earth  so 
high  as  to  set  men  out  of  the  reach  of  God’s  judg- 
ments, Jer.  49.  16.  Obad.  3.  4.  God’s  hand  will 
find  out  all  his  enemies  21.  8.  Observe  how  ex- 
actly they  are  fathomed,  (fifteen  cubits,)  not  by 
Noah’s  plummet,  but  by  his  knowledge  \i\\o  weigh- 
eth  the  waters  by  measure.  Job  28.  25. 

3.  What  became  of  Noah’s  ark,  when  the  waters 
thus  increased;  it  was  lift  up  above  the  earth,  ( v. 
17.)  and  went  upon  the  face  of  the  waters,  v.  18. 
When  all  other  buildings  were  demolished  by  the 
waters,  and  buried  under  them,  the  ark  alone  sub- 
sisted. Observe,  (1.)  The  waters  which  brake 
down  every  thing  else,  bare  up  the  ai'k.  That 
which  to  unbelievers  is  a savour  of  death  unto  death, 
is  to  the  faithful  a savour  of  life  unto  life.  (2. ) The 
more  the  waters  increased,  the  higher  the  ark  Avas 
lifted  up  toward  heaven.  Thus  sanctified  afflictions 
are  spiritual  promotions;  and  as  troubles  abound, 
consolations  much  more  abound. 

21.  And  all  flesh  died  that  moved  upon 
the  earth,  both  of  fovtd,  and  of  cattle,  and 
of  beast,  and  of  every  creeping  thing  that 
creepeth  upon  the  earth,  and  every  man  : 
22.  All  in  whose  nostrils  was  the  breath  of 
life,  of  all  that  teas  in  the  diy  land,  died.  23. 
And  eveiy  living  substance  was  destroyed, 
which  was  upon  the  face  of  the  ground, 
both  man,  and  cattle,  and  the  creeping 
things,  and  the  fowl  of  the  heaven  ; and  thev 
were  destroyed  from  the  earth  : and  Noah 
only  remained  alive,  and  tliey  that  tcere  with 
him  in  the  ark.  24.  And  the  waters  pre- 
vailed upon  the  earth  an  hundred  and  fifty 
days. 

Here  is, 

I.  The  general  destruction  of  all  flesh  by  the  wa- 
ters of  the  flood.  Come  and  see  the  desolations 
which  God  makes  in  the  earth,  Psal.  46.  8,  and  hoAV 
he  lays  heaps  upon  heaps.  Never  did  death  tri- 
umph, from  his  first  entrance  unto  this  day,  as  it 
did  then.  Come,  and  see  Death  upon  his  pale 
horse,  and  hell  folloAving  with  him.  Rev.  6.  7,  8. 

1.  All  the  cattle,  fowl,  and  creeping  things,  died, 
except  the  few  that  were  in  the  ark.  Observ'^e  how 
this  is  repeated.  All  fesh  died,  v.  21.  All  in  whose 
nostrils  was  the  breath  of  life,  of  all  that  was  on  the 


o9 


GENESIS,  VIII. 


dru  land,  v.  22.  Every  living  substance,  v.  23. 
And  why  so?  Man  only  had  done  wickedly,  and 
justly  is  God’s  hand  against  him;  but  these  sheefi,  ] 
what  have  they  done?  I answer,  (1.)  W e are  sure  j 
God  did  them  no  wrong;  he  is  the  sovereign  Lord 
of  all  life,  for  he  is  the  sole  Fountain  and  Author  ' 
of  it.  He  that  made  them  as  he  pleased,  might  un- 
make them  when  he  pleased;  and  who  shall  say  unto 
him,  / Vhat  doest  thou?  May  he  not  do  what  he  will 
With  his  own,  which  were  created  for  his  pleasure? 
(2. ) God  did  admirably  serve  the  purposes  of  his 
own  glory  by  their  destraction,  as  well  as  by  their 
creation.  Herein  his  holiness  and  justice  were 
greatly  magnified;  by  this  appears  that  he  hates 
sin,  and  is  highly  displeased  with  sinners,  when 
even  the  inferior  creatures,  because  they  are  the 
servants  of  man,  and  part  of  his  possession,  and  be- 
cause they  have  been  abused  to  be  the  servants  of 
sin,  are  destroyed  with  him.  This  makes  the  judg- 
ment the  more  remarkable,  the  more  dreadful,  and 
consequently,  the  more  expressive  of  God’s  wrath 
and  \ engeance.  The  destruction  of  the  creatures 
was  their  deliverance  from  the  bondage  of  corrup- 
tion, which  deliverance  the  whole  creation  now 
groans  after,  Rom.  8.  21,  22.  It  was  likewise  an 
instance  of  God’s  wisdom.  As  the  creatures  were 
mj.de  for  man  when  he  was  made,  so  they  were 
multiplied:  and  therefore,  now  that  mankind  was 
reduced  to  so  small  a number,  it  was  fit  that  the 
beasts  should  proportionably  be  reduced,  otherwise 
they  would  have  had  the  dominion,  and  would  have 
replenished  the  earth,  and  the  remnant  of  mankind 
th.it  was  left  would  have  been  overpowered  by 
them.  See  how  God  considered  this  in  another 
case,  Exod.  23.  29.  Lest  the  beast  of  the  field 
multijily  against  thee. 

2.  All  the  men,  women,  and  children,  that  were 
in  the  world,  (except  what  were  in  the  ark,)  died. 
Every  man,  v.  21,  and  v.  23,  and  perhaps  they 
were  as  many  as  are  now  upon  the  face  of  the  earth, 
if  not  more.  Now, 

(1.)  We  may  easily  imagine  what  terror  and  con- 
sternation seized  on  them  when  they  saw  them- 
selves surrounded.  Our  Saviour  tells  us,  that  till 
the  very  day  that  the  flood  came,  they  were  eating 
and  drinking,  Luke  17.  26,  27,  they  were  drowned 
in  security  and  sensuality,  before  they  were  drown- 
ed in  those  waters;  crying,  Peace,  fieace,  to  them- 
selves; deaf  and  blind  to  all  divine  warnings.  In 
this  posture  death  surprised  them,  as  1 Sam.  30.  16, 
17.  But  O what  an  amazement  were  they  in  then ! 
Now  they  see  and  feel  that  which  they  would  not 
believe  and  fear,  and  are  convinced  of  their  folly 
when  it  is  too  late;  now  they  find  no  place  for  re- 
pentance, though  they  seek  it  carefully  with  tears. 

(2.)  We  may  suppose  that  they  tried  all  ways 
and  means  possible  for  their  preservation,  but  all  in 
vain.  Some  climb  to  the  tops  of  trees  or  mountains, 
and  spin  out  their  terrors  there  awhile.  But  the 
flood  reaches  them,  at  last,  and  they  are  forced  to 
die  with  the  more  deliberation.  Some,  it  is  likely, 
cling  to  the  ark,  and  now  hope  that  that  may  be 
their  safety,  which  they  had  so  long  made  their  sport. 
Perhaps  some  get  to  the  top  of  the  ark,  and  hope 
to  shift  for  themselves  there;  but  either  they  perish 
there  for  want  of  food,  or,  by  a speedier  despatch, 
a dash  of  rain  washes  them  off"  that  deck.  Others, 
it  may  be,  hoped  to  prevail  with  Noah  for  admis- 
sion into  the  ark,  and  pleaded  old  acquaintance. 
Have  we  not  eaten  and  drunk  in  thy  presence? 
Hast  thou  not  taught  in  our  streets?  “ Yes',”  might 
Noah  say,  “I  have,  tnany  a time,  to  little  purjjcse. 
I called,  but  ye  refused;  ' ye  set  at  naught  all  my 
counsel,  Prov.  1.  24,  25,  and  now  it  is  not  in  my 
j)Ower  to  help  you:  God  has  shut  the  door,  and  I 
cannot  open  it.’’  Thus  it  will  be  at  the  gi-eat  day. 
Neither  climbing  high  in  an  outward  profession, 


nor  claiming  relation  to  good  people,  will  bring  men 
to  heaven.  Matt.  7.  22. — 25.  8,  9.  Those  that  are 
not  found  in  Christ,  the  Ark,  are  certainly  undone, 
for  ever;  salvation  itself  cannot  save  them.  See 
Isa.  10.  3. 

(3.)  We  may  suppose  that  some  of  those  who 
perished  in  the  deluge,  had  themselves  assisted 
Noah,  or  were  employed  by  him,  in  the  building  of 
the  ark,  and  yet  were  not  so  wise  as  by  repentance 
to  secure  themselves  a place  in  it.  Thus  wicked 
ministers,  though  they  may  have  been  instrumental 
to  help  others  to  heaven,  will  themselves  be  thrust 
down  to  hell. 

Let  us  now  pause  awhile,  and  consider  this  tre- 
mendous judgment!  Let  our  hearts  meditate  ter- 
ror, the  terror  of  this  destruction:  let  us  see,  and 
say.  It  is  a fearful  thing  to  fall  into  the  hands  of 
the  living  God;  who  can  stand  before  him  vjhen  he 
j is  atigry?  Let  us  see,  and  say.  It  is  an  evil  thing, 

I and  a bitter,  to  depart  from  God.  The  sin  of  sin- 
ners will,  without  repentance,  be  their  ruin,  first  or 
last;  if  God  be  true  it  will.  Though  hand  join  in 
hand,  yet  the  wicked  shall  not  go  unpunished.  The 
righteous  God  knows  how  to  bring  a flood  upon  the 
world  of  the  ungodly,  2 Pet.  2.  5.  Eliphaz  ap- 
peals to  this  stoiy  as  a standing  warning  to  a care- 
less world.  Job.  22,  15,  16,  Hast  thou  marked  the 
old  way,  which  wicked  men  have  trodden,  which 
were  cut  down  out  of  time,  and  sent  into  eternity, 
whose  foundation  was  overflown  with  the  flood? 

II.  The  special  preservation  of  Noah  and  his  fa- 
mily, V.  23,  Koah  only  remained  alive,  and  they 
that  were  with  him  in  the  ark.  Observe,  1.  Noah 
lives;  when  all  about  him  were  monuments  of  jus- 
tice, thousands  falling  on  his  right  hand,  and  ten 
thousands  on  his  left,  he  was  a monument  of  mei'cy ; 
only  with  his  eyes  might  he  behold  and  see  the  re- 
ward of  the  wicked,  Ps.  91.  7,  8.  In  the  Roods  of 
great  waters,  they  did  not  come  nigh  him,  rs.  32.  6. 

! We  have  reason  to  think,  that  while  the  long-suf- 
I fering  of  God  waited,  Noah  net  only  preached  to, 
j but  prayed  for,  that  wicked  world,  and  would  have 
I turned  away  the  wrath;  but  his  prayers  return  into 
his  own  bosom,  and  are  answered  only  in  his  own 
escape;  which  is  plainly  referred  to,  Ezek.  14.  14, 
JVouh,  Daniel,  and  Job,  shall  but  deliver  their  own 
souls.  A mark  of  honour  shall  be  set  on  intercessors. 
2.  He  but  lives.  Noah  remains  alive,  and  that  is  all; 
he  is,  in  effect,  buried  alive;  cooped  up  in  a small 
place,  alarmed  with  the  terrors  of  the  descending 
rain,  the  increasing  flood,  and  the  shrieks  and  out- 
cries of  his  perishing  neighbours — his  heart  over- 
whelmed with  melancholy  thoughts  of  the  desola- 
tions made:  but  he  comforts  himself  with  this,  that 
he  is  in  the  way  of  duty,  and  in  the  way  of  deliver- 
ance. And  we  are  taught,  Jer.  45.  4,  5,  that  when 
desolating  judgments  are  abroad,  we  must  not  seek 
great  or  pleasant  things  to  ourselves,  but  reckon  it 
an  unspeakable  favour,  if  we  have  our  lives  given 
us  for  a prey. 

CHAP.  VIII. 

Ill  the  close  of  the  foregoing  chapter,  we  left  the  world  in 
ruins,  and  the  church  in  straits  ; but  in  this  chapter,  w< 
have  the  repair  of  the  one,  and  the  enlargement  of  the 
other.  Now  the  scene  alters,  and  another  state  of  things 
begins  to  be  presented  to  us,  and  the  brighter  side  of 
that  cloud  which  there  appeared  so  black  and  dark:  for 
though  God  contend  long,  he  will  not  contend  for  ever, 
nor  be  always  wroth.  We  have  here,  I.  The  earth  made 
anew,  by  the  recess  of  the  waters,  and  the  appearing  of 
the  dry  land,  now  a second  time,  and  both  gradual.  I. 
The  increase  of  the  waters  is  stayed,  v.  1,  2.  2.  They 
begin  sensibly  to  abate,  v.  3.  3.  After  sixteen  days’ 
ebbing,  the  ark  rests,  v.  4.  4.  After  sixty  days’  ebbing, 
the  tops  of  the  mountains  appeared  above  water,  v.  5. 
5.  After  forty  days’  ebbing,  and  twenty  days  before  the 
mountains  appeared,  Noah  began  to  send  out  his  spies, 
a raven  and  a dove,  to  gain  intelligence,  v.  6..  12.  6.  Two 


70 


GENESIS,  Vlll. 


months  after  the  appearing  of  the  tops  of  the  mountains, 
the  waters  were  gone,  and  the  face  of  the  earth  was  dry, 
V.  13,  though  not  dried  so  as  to  be  fit  for  man  till  almost 
two  months  after,  v.  14.  II.  Man  placed  anew  upon  the 
earth.  In  which,  1.  Noah’s  discharge  and  departure  out 
of  the  ark,  v.  15..  19.  2.  His  sacrifice  of  praise,  which 
he  offered  to  God  upon  his  enlargement,  v.  20.  3.  God’s 

acceptance  of  his  sacrifice,  and  the  promise  he  made, 
thereupon,  not  to  drown  the  world  again,  v.  21,  22. 
And  thus,  at  length,  mercy  rejoices  against  judgment. 

1.  A ND  God  remembered  Noah,  and 
/\  every  living  thing,  and  all  the  cattle 
that  was  with  him  in  the  ark : and  God 
made  a wind  to  pass  over  the  earth,  and  the 
waters  assuaged.  2.  The  fountains  also  ol 
the  deep,  and  the  windows  of  lieaven  were 
stopped,  and  the  rain  from  heaven  was  re- 
strained ; 3.  And  the  waters  returned  from 

off  the  earth  continually : and  after  the  end 
of  the  hundred  and  fifty  days,  the  waters 
■vere  abated. 

Here  is, 

I.  An  act  of  God’s  grace.  God  remembered 
jYoa/i  and  every  living  thing.  This  is  an  expres- 
sion after  the  manner  of  men;  for  not  any  of  his 
creatures,  Luke  12.  6,  much  less  any  of  his  people, 
are  forgotten  of  God,  Isa.  49.  15,  16.  But, 

1.  The  whole  race  of  mankind,  except  Noah  and 
his  family,  was  now  extinguished,  and  gone  into 
the  land  of  forgetfulness,  to  be  remembered  no 
more;  so  that  God’s  remembering  Noah  was  the 
return  of  his  mercy  to  mankind,  of  whom  he  would 
not  make  a full  end.  It  is  a strange  expression, 
Ezek.  5.  13,  When  I have  aecomplishid  my  fury 
in  them,  I will  be  comforttd.  The  demands  of  di- 
vine justice  had  been  answered  by  the  ruin  of  those 
sinners;  he  had  eased  him  of  his  adversaries,  Isa.  1. 
24,  and  now  his  spirit  was  quieted,  Zech.  6.  8,  and 
he  remembered  Jsfoah  and  every  living  thing.  He 
remembered  mercy  in  wrath,  Hab.  3.  2,  remem- 
bered the  days  of  old,  Isa.  63.  11,  remembered  the 
holy  seed,  and  then  rcmemliered  Noah. 

2.  Noah  himself,  though  one  that  had  found  grace 
in  the  eyes  of  the  Lord,  yet  seemed  to 'be  forgotten  , 
in  the  ark,  and  perhaps  began  to  think  himself  so; 
for  we  do  not  find  that  God  had  told  him  how 
long  he  should  be  confined,  and  when  he  shall  be 
released.  Very  good  men  have  sometimes  been 
ready  to  conclude  themselves  forgotten  of  God,  es- 
pecially when  their  afflictions  have  been  unusually 
grievous  and  long.  Perhaps  Noah,  though  a great 
believer,  yet  when  he  found  the  flood  continuing  so 
long  after  it  might  reasonably  be  presumed  to  have 
done  its  work,  was  tempted  to  fear  lest  he  that  shut 
him  in,  would  keep  him  in,  and  began  to  expostu- 
late, How  long  wilt  thou  forget  me?  But  at  length, 
God  returned  in  mercy  to  him,  and  that  is  express- 
ed by  remembering  him.  Note,  Thf'se  that  re- 
member God,  shall  certainly  be  remembered  by 
him,  how  desolate  and  disconsolate  soevei’,  their 
condition  may  be.  He  will  appc'int  them  a set 
time,  and  remember  them,  Job  14.  13. 

3.  With  Noah,  God  remembered  every  living 
thing;  for  though  his  delight  is  especially  in  the  sons 
of  men,  yet  he  rejoices  in  all  his  works,  and  hates 
nothing  that  he  has  made.  He  takes  special  care 
not  only  of  his  peojile’s  iiersni.s,  but  of  their  posses- 
sions; of  them  and  all  that  belongs  to  them.  He 
considered  the  cattle  of  Nineveh,  Jonah  4.  11. 

II.  An  act  of  God’s  power  over  wind  and  water, 
neither  of  which  is  under  man’s  control,  but  both  at 
hiH  beck.  Observe, 

1.  He  commanded  the  wind,  and  said  to  that,  Go, 
and  it  went,  in  order  to  the  carrying  off  of  the  flood.  I 


God  made  a wind  to  pass  over  the  earth.  See  here, 
(1.)  What  was  God’s  remembrance  of  Noah;  it  was 
his  relieving  of  him.  Note,  those  whom  God  re 
members,  he  remembers  eflectually,  for  good;  he 
remembers  us  to  save  us,  that  we  may  remember 
him  to  serve  him.  (2. ) VVhat  a sovereign  dominion 
God  has  over  the  winds!  He  has  them  ui  his  fist, 
Prov.  30.  4,  and  brings  them  out  of  his  treasure, 

I Ps.  135.  7.  He  sends  them  when,  and  whither, 

I and  Lr  what  purposes,  he  pleases.  Even  stormy 
j winds  fulfil  his  word,  Ps.  148.  8.  It  should  seem', 
while  the  waters  increased,  there  was  no  wind;  for 
I that  would  have  added  to  the  toss  of  the  ark;  but 
i now  God  sent  a wind,  when  it  would  not  be  trcuble- 
I some.  Probably,  it  was  a north  wind,  for  that 
I drives  away  rain.  However,  it  was  a drying  wind, 

I such  a wind  as  God  sent  to  divide  the  Red-sea  be- 
I fore  Israel,  Exod.  14.  21. 

2.  He  remanded  the  waters,  and  said  to  them. 
Come,  and  they  came.  (1.)  He  took  away  the 
cause.  He  sealed  up  the  springs  of  those  waters, 
the  fountains  of  the  great  deep,  and  the  windows  of 
heaven.  Note,  [1.]  As  God  had  a key  to  open,  sc 
he  has  a key  to  shut  up  again,  and  to  stay  the  pro- 
gress of  judgments  by  stopping  the  causes  of  them: 
and  the  same  hand  that  brings  the  desolation,  must 
bring  the  deliverance;  to  that  hand  therefore  cur 
eye  must  ever  be.  He  that  wounds  is  alone  able 
to  heal.  See  Job  12.  14,  15.  [2.]  When  afflic- 

tions have  done  the  work  for  which  they  are  sent, 

1 whether  killing  work  or  curing  work,  they  shall  be 
! removed.  God’s  word  shall  not  retuni  void,  Isa. 
j 55.  If),  11.  (2.)  Then  the  eft'ect  ceased;  not  all  at 

1 once,  but  by  degrees.  The  waters  assuaged,  v.  1, 
returned  from  off  the  earth  continually,  v.  3.  Heb. 
they  were  going  and  returning ; which  denotes  a 
I gradual  departure.  The  heat  of  the  sun  exhaled 
much,  and  perhaps  the  subteri'aneous  caverns 
soaked  in  more.  Note,  As  the  earth  was  not  drown- 
ed in  a day,  so  it  was  not  dried  in  a day.  In  the  crea- 
tion, it  was  but  one  day’s  work  to  clear  the  earth 
from  the  waters  that  co^  ered  it,  and  to  make  it  dry 
land;  nay,  it  was  but  lialf  a day’s  work,  ch.  1.  9,  10. 
But  the  work  of  creation  being  finished,  this  work 
of  providence  was  eftected  by  the  concurring  influ- 
ence of  second  causes,  yet  thus  enforced  by  the  al- 
mighty power  of  God.  God  usually  worKs' deliver- 
ance for  his  people  gradually,  that  the  day  of  small 
things  may  not  be  despised,  nor  the  day  of  great 
things  despaired  of,  Zech.  4.  10.  See  Prov.  4.  18. 

4.  And  the  ark  rested  in  the  seventii 
month,  on  the  seventeenth  day  of  the  month, 
upon  the  mountains  of  Ararat.  5.  And  the 
waters  decreased  continually  until  the  tenth 
month:  in  the  tenth  month,  on  the  first  day 
of  the  month,  were  the  tops  of  the  moun- 
tains seen. 

Here  we  have  the  effects  and  evidences  of  the 
eljbings  of  the  waters.  1.  The  ark  rested.  This 
was  some  satisfaction  to  Noah,  to  feel  the  house  he 
was  in,  upon  firm  ground,  and  no  longer  moveable. 
It  rested  upon  a mountain,  whither  it  was  directed, 
not  by  Noah’s  prudence,  (he  did  not  steer  it,)  hut 
by  the  wise  and  gracious  providence  of  God,  that  it 
might  rest  the  sooner.  Note,  God  has  times  and 
jilaces  of  rest  for  his  people  after  their  tossings;  and 
manv  a time  he  j)rovides  for  their  seasonable  and 
comfortable  settlement  without  their  cwn  contri- 
vance, and  quite  beyond  their  own  foresight.  The 
ark  of  the  church,  though  sometimes  tossed  with 
tempests,  and  not  comfoi-ted,  Isa.  54.  11,  yet  has 
its  rests,  Acts  9.  31.  2.  The  tops  of  the  mountains 

were  seen,  like  little  islands,  appearing  above  the 
water.  We  must  suppose  that  they  were  seen  l)y 


71 


GENESIS,  VIII. 


Noah  and  his  sons;  for  there  were  none  besides  to 
see  them:  it  is  probable  that  they  had  looked 
thi’ough  the  window  of  the  ark  every  day,  like  the 
longing  mariners,  after  a tedious  voyage,  to  see  if 
they  could  discover  land,  or  as  the  prophet’s  ser- 
vant, 1 Kings  18.  43,  44,  and  at  length  they  spy 
ground,  ajid  enter  the  day  of  the  discovery  in  their 
journal.  They  felt  ground  above  forty  days  before 
they  saw  it,  according  to  Dr.  Lightfoot’s  computa- 
tion, whence  he  infers  that  if  the  waters  decreased 
prcportionably,  the  ark  drew  eleven  cubits  in  water. 

6.  And  it  came  to  pass  at  the  end  of  forty 
days,  that  Noah  opened  the  window  of  the 
ark  which  he  had  made : 7.  And  he  sent 

foi  lli  a raven,  tvliich  went  forth  to  and  fro, 
until  the  waters  were  dried  up  from  off  the 
earth.  8.  Also  lie  sent  forth  a dove  from 
him,  to  see  if  the  waters  were  abated  from 
off  the  face  of  the  ground ; 9.  But  the 

dove  found  no  rest  for  the  sole  of  her  foot, 
and  she  returned  unto  him  into  the  ark,  lor 
the  waters  were  on  the  face  of  the  whole 
earth : then  he  put  forth  his  hand,  and  took 
her,  and  pulled  her  in  unto  him  into  the  ark. 
10.  And  he  stayed  yet  other  seven  days; 
and  again  he  sent  forth  the  dove  out  of  the 
ark  ; 11.  And  the  dove  came  in  to  him  in 

the  evening ; and,  lo,  in  her  mouth  was  an 
olive-leaf  pluckt  off : so  Noah  knew  that 
the  waters  were  abated  from  off  the  earth. 
12.  And  he  stayed  yet  other  seven  days; 
and  sent  forth  the  dove ; which  returned  not 
again  unto  him  any  more. 

Wc  liave  here  an  account  of  the  spies  which  Noah 
sent  forth  to  bring  him  intelligence  from  abroad,  a 
raven  and  a dove.  Observe  here, 

I.  That  though  God  had  told  Noah  particularly 
when  the  flood  would  come,  even  to  a day,  (c/i.  7. 
4. ) )’et  he  did  not  give  him  a particular  account  by 
revelation  at  what  times,  and  by  what  steps  it  should 
go  away.  1.  Because  the  knowledge  of  the  former 
was  necessary  to  his  preparing  of  the  ark,  and  set- 
tling of  himself  in  it;  but  the  knowledge  of  the  latter 
would  serve  only  to  gratify  his  curiosity,  and  the 
conceali!ig  of  it  fi'om  him  would  be  the  needful  ex- 
ercise of  his  faith  and  patience.  And,  2.  He  could 
n t foresee  the  flood,  but  by  revelation;  but  he 
might,  by  ordinary  means,  discover  the  decrease  of 
it,  and  therefore  God  was  pleased  to  leave  him  to 
the  use  of  them. 

II.  That  though  Noah  by  faith  expected  his  en- 
largement, and  by  patience  waited  for  it,  yet  he  was 
inquisitive  concerning  it,  as  one  that  thought  it  long 
to  be  thus  confined.  Note,  Desires  of  release  out 
of  trouble,  earnest  expectations  of  it,  and  inquiries 
concerning  its  advances  towards  us,  will  very  well  ' 
consist  whir  the  sincerity  of  faith  and  patience.  He 
that  believes  does  not  make  haste  to  nm  before  God, 
but  he  does  make  haste  to  go  forth  to  meet  him,  Isa. 
28.  16.  Particularly,  1.  Noah  sent  forth  a raven 
through  the  window  of  the  ark,  which  went  forth, 
as  the  Hebrew  phrase  is,  going  forth  and  return- 
ing, that  is  flying  about,  and  feeding  on  the  carcases 
that  floated,  but  returning  to  the  ark  for  rest;  pro- 
bably, not  in  it,  but  ufionit.  This  gave  Noah  little 
satisfaction;  therefore,  2.  He  sent  forth  a dox>e, 
v/hich  retuiTied  the  first  time  with  no  good  news,  ! 
but,  probably,  wet  and  dirty;  but,  the  second  time,  j 
she  brought  an  olive-leaf  in  her  bill,  which  appear-  | 
ed  to  be  first  plucked  off;  a plain  indication  that  i 


now  the  trees,  the  fruit-trees,  began  to  appear 
above  water. 

Note  here,  (1.)  That  Noah  sent  forth  the  dove 
the  second  time,  seven  days  after  the  first  time,  and 
I the  third  time  was  after  seven  days  too;  and,  proba- 
, bly,  the  first  sending  of  her  out  was  seven  days  after 
I the  sending  forth  of  the  raven,  which  intimates  that 
' it  was  done  on  the  sabbath-day,  which,  it  should 
j!  seem,  Noah  religiously  observed  in  the  ark.  Having 
!|  kept  the  sabbath  in  a solemn  assembly  of  his  little 
' clmrch,  he  then  expected  special  blessings  from 
i heaven,  and  inquired  concerning  them.  Having 
j directed  his  prayer,  he  looked  up,  Ps.  5.  3.  (2.) 

! The  dove  is  an  emblem  of  a gracious  soul,  which 
I finding  no  rest  for  its  foot,  no  solid  peace  or  satisfac- 
i tion  in  this  world,  this  deluged,  defiling  world,  re- 
j turns  to  Christ  as  to  its  Ark,  as  to  its  Noah.  The 
I carnal  heart,  like  the  raven,  takes  up  with  the 
world,  and  feeds  on  the  carrions  it  finds  there;  but 
return  thou  to  thy  rest,  O my  soul,  to  thy  A'oah,  so 
the  word  is,  Ps.  116.  7.  O that  I had  wings  like  a 
dove,  to  flee  to  him ! Ps.  55.  6.  And  as  ^roah  put 
I forth  his  hand,  and  took  the  dove,  and  pulled  her  in 
to  him,  into  the  ark,  so  Christ  will  graciously  pre- 
ser\  e,  and  help,  and  welccme,  those  that  fly  to  him 
for  rest.  (3.)  The  olive-branch,  which  was  an 
emblem  of  peace,  was  brought  not  by  the  raven,  a 
bird  of  prey,  nor  by  a gay  and  proud  peacock,  but 
by  a mild,  patient,  humble,  dove.  It  is  a dove-like 
disposition  that  brings  into  the  soul  earnests  of  rest 
and  joy.  (4. ) Some  make  these  things  an  allegory. 
The  law  was  first  sent  forth  like  the  raven,  but 
brought  no  tidings  of  the  assuaging  of  the  waters  of 
God’s  wrath,  with  which  the  world  of  mankind  was 
deluged;  therefore,  in  the  fulness  of  time,  God  sent 
forth  his  gospel,  as  the  dove,  in  the  likeness  of 
which  the  Holy  Spirit  descended,  and  this  presents 
us  with  an  olive-branch,  and  brings  in  a better  hope. 

1 3.  And  it  came  to  pass  in  the  six  hun- 
dredth and  first  year,  in  the  first  month,  the 
first  dai/  of  the  month,  the  waters  were 
dried  up  from  off  the  earth : and  Noah  re- 
moved the  covering  of  the  ark,  and  looked 
and,  behold,  the  face  of  the  ground  was  dry. 
1 4.  And  in  the  second  month,  on  the  seven 
and  twentieth  day  of  the  month,  was  the 
earth  dried. 

Here  is, 

1.  The  ground  dry;  (v.  14.)  that  is,  all  the  water 
carried  off  it,  which,  upon  the  first  day  of  the  first 
month,  (a  joyful  new-year’s-day  it  was,)  Noah  was 
himself  an  eye-witness  of.  He  removed  the  cover- 
ing of  the  ark,  not  the  whole  covering,  but  so  much 
as  would  suffice  to  give  him  a prospect  of  the  earth 
about  it;  and  a most  comfortalile  prospect  he  had. 
For  behold,  behold  and  wonder,  the  face  of  the 
ground  was  dry.  Note,  (1.)  It  is  a great  mercy  tc 
see  ground  about  us.  Noah  Avas  more  sensible  of  it 
than  we  are:  for  mercies  restored  are  much  more 
affecting  than  mercies  continued.  (2.)  The  divine 
power  which  now  renewed  the  face  of  the  earth, 
can  renew  the  face  of  an  afflicted  troubled  soul,  and 
of  a distressed  persecuted  church.  He  can  make 
drv  ground  to  appear  there  Avhere  it  seemed  to  have 
been  lost  and  forgotten,  Ps.  18.  16. 

2.  The  ground  dried,  (r.  14. ) so  as  to  be  a fit  ha- 
bitation for  Noah.  Obsen-e,  Though  Noah  saw  the' 
ground  dry  the  first  day  of  the  first  month,  yet  God 
would  not  suffer  him  to  go  out  of  the  ark  till  the 
twenty-seventh  day  of  the  second  month.  Perhaps 
Noah,  being  somewh  it  weary  of  his  restraint,  w’ould 
have  quitted  the  ark  at  first,  but  God,  in  kindness 
to  him,  ordered  him  to  stay  so  much  longer.  Note, 
God  consults  our  benefit,  rather  than  our  desires; 


72 


GENESIS,  VIII. 


for  he  knows  what  is  good  for  us  better  than  we  do 
for  ourselves,  and  how  long  it  is  fit  our  restraints 
should  continue,  and  desired  mercies  should  be  de- 
layed. We  would  go  out  of  the  ark  before  the 
ground  is  dried;  and  perhaps,  if  the  door  be  shut, 
are  ready  to  remove  the  covering,  and  to  climb  up 
some  other  way;  but  we  should  be  satisfied  that 
God’s  time  of  showing  mercy  is  certainly  the  best 
time,  when  the  mercy  is  ripe  for  us,  and  we  are 
ready  for  it. 

15.  And  God  spake  unto  Noah,  saying,  j 

16.  Go  forth  of  the  ark,  thou,  and  thy  wife, 
and  th)  sons,  and  thy  sons’  wives  with  thee. 

17.  Bring  forth  with  thee  every  living  thing 

that  is  with  thee,  of  all  flesh,  both  of  fowl, 
and  of  cattle,  and  of  every  creeping  thing 
that  creepeth  upon  the  earth  ; that  they  may 
breed  abundantly  in  the  earth,  and  be  fruit- 
ful, and  multiply  upon  the  earth.  1 8.  And 
Noah  went  forth,  and  his  sons,  and  his  wife, 
and  his  sons’  wives  with  him : 1 9.  Every 

beast,  every  creeping  thing,  and  every  fowl, 
and  whatsoever  creepeth  upon  the  earth, 
after  their  kinds,  went  forth  out  of  the  ark. 

Here  is, 

I.  Noah’s  dismission  out  of  the  ark,  v.  15...  17. 

Observe,  1.  Noah  did  not  stir  till  God  bid  him.  As 
he  had  a command  to  go  into  the  ark,  (cA.  7.  1.)  so, 
how  tedious  soever  his  confinement  there  was,  he 
would  wait  for  a command  to  go  out  of  it  again. 
Note,  We  must  in  all  our  ways  acknowledge  God, 
and  set  him  before  us  in  all  our  removes.  Those 
only  go  under  God’s  protection,  that  follow  God’s 
direction,  and  submit  to  his  government.  Those 
that  steadily  adhere  to  God’s  word  as  their  rule, 
and  are  guided  by  his  grace  as  their  principle,  and 
take  hints  from  his  providence  to  assist  them  in 
their  application  of  general  directions  to  particular 
cases,  may  in  faith  see  him  guiding  their  motions  in 
their  march  through  this  wilderness.  2.  Though 
God  detained  him  long,  yet  at  last  he  gave  him  his 
discharge;  for  the  vision  w for  an  ajxfiointed  time, 
and  at  the  end  it  shall  sfieak,  it  shall  sfieak  the  truth, 
(Plab.  2.  3.)  it  shall  not  lie.  3.  God  had  said,  Come 
into  the  ark,  which  intimated  that  God  went  in  with 
him;  now  he  says,  not.  Come  forth,  but  Go  forth, 
which  intimates  that  God,  who  went  in  with  him, 
stood  Avith  him  all  the  while,  till  he  sent  him  out 
safe;  for  he  has  said,  Invill  not  leave  thee.  4.  Some 
observe,  that  when  they  were  ordered  into  the  ark, 
the  men  and  the  women  were  mentioned  separately, 
ch.  6.  18,  Thou  and  thy  sons,  and  thy  wife  and  thy 
sons'  wives;  whence  they  infer  that,  during  the  time 
of  mourning,  they  were  apart,  and  their  wives 
apart,  Zech.  12,  12.  But  noAV  God  did  as  it  were 
new  marry  them,  sending  out  Noah  and  his  wife  { 
together,  and  his  sons  and  their  wives  together,  that 
they  might  be  fruitful  and  multiply.  5.  Noah  is 
ordered  to  bring  the  creatures  out  with  him;  that 
having  taken  the  care  of  feeding  them  so  long,  and  j 
been  at  so  much  pains  about  them,  he  might  have  I 
the  honour  of  leading  them  forth  by  their  armies,  j 
and  receiving  their  homage.  j 

II.  Noah’s  departure  when  he  had  his  dismission. 
As  he  would  not  go  out  without  leave,  so  he  would 
not,  out  of  fear  or  humour,  stay  in  when  he  h id 
leave,  but  was  in  all  ])oints  observant  of  the  hea-  [ 
venly  vision.  Though  he  had  been  now  a full  year 
and  ten  days  a prisoner  in  the  ark,  yet  when  he 
found  himself  preserved  there,  not  only  for  a new 
life,  but  for  a new  world,  he  saw  no  reason  to  com- 
olain  of  his  long  confinement.  Now  observe,  1.  ; 


Noah  and  his  family  came  out  alive,  though  one  of 
them  was  a wicked  Ham,  whom,  though  he  escaped 
the  flood,  God’s  justice  could  have  taken  a^vay  by 
some  other  stroke.  But  they  are  all  alive.  Note, 
When  families  have  been  long  continued  together, 
and  no  breaches  made  upon  them,  it  must  be  looked 
upon  as  a distinguishing  favour,  and  attributed  to 
the  Lord’s  mercies.  2.  Noah  brought  out  all  the 
creatures  that  went  in  with  him,  except  the  raven 
and  the  dove,  Avho,  probably,  were  ready  to  meet 
their  mates  at  their  coming  out.  Noah  was  able  to 
give  a very  good  account  of  his  charge;  for  of  all 
th'it  were  given  him  he  had  lost  none,  but  was  faith- 
ful to  him  that  appointed  him,  firo  hacvice — on  this 
occasion,  high  steward  of  his  household. 

20.  And  Noah  budded  an  altar  unto  the 
Lord  ; and  took  of  every  clean  beast,  and 
of  every  clean  fowl,  and  offered  burnt- 
offerings  on  the  altar.  21.  And  the  Lord 
smelled  a sweet  savour ; and  the  Lord  said 
in  his  heart,  I will  not  again  curse  the 
ground  any  more  for  man’s  sake ; for  the 
imagination  of  man’s  heart  is  evil  from  his 
youth ; neither  will  I again  smite  any  more 
every  thing  living,  as  I have  done.  22. 
While  the  earth  remaineth,  seed-time  and 
harvest,  and  cold  and  heat,  and  summer 
and  winter,  and  day  and  night,  shall  not 
cease. 

Here  is, 

I.  Noah’s  thankful  acknowledgment  of  God’s. fa- 
vour to  him,  in  completing  the  mercy  of  his  deliver- 
ance, 7'.  20.  1.  He  budded  an  altar.  Hitherto  he 

had  done  nothing  without  particular  instructions  and 
commands  from  God.  He  had  a particular  call  into 
the  ark,  and  another  out  of  it;  but  altars  and  sacri- 
fices being  already  of  divine  institution  for  religious 
worship,  he  did  not  stay  for  a particular  command 
thus  to  express  his  thankfulness.  Those  that  have 
received  mercy  from  God,  should  be  forward  in  re- 
turning thanks;  and  do  it,  not  of  constraint,  but  wil- 
lingly. God  is  pleased  with  free-will  offerings,  and 
praises  that  wait  for  him.  Noah  Avas  noAv  turned 
out  into  a cold  and  desolate  world,  where  one  Avould 
have  thought  his  first  care  would  have  been  to  build 
a house  for  himself;  but,  behold,  he  begins  with  an 
altar  for  God:  God,  that  is  the  first,  must  be  first 
served;  and  he  begins  well  that  begins  Avith  God. 
2.  He  offered  a sacrifice  upon  his  altar,  of  evem 
cl-an  beast,  and  of  every  clean  fowl,  one,  the  odd 
seventh  that  we  read  of,  ch.  7.  2,  3. 

Here  observe,  (^1.)  He  offered  only  those  that 
Avere  clean;  for  it  is  not  enough  that  Ave  sacrifice, 
but  we  must  sacrifice  that  Avhich  God  appoints,  ac- 
cording to  the  laAv  of  sacrifice,  and  not  a corrupt 
thing.  (2. ) Though  his  stock  of  cattle  Avas  so  small, 
and  that  rescued  from  ruin  at  so  great  an  expense 
of  care  and  pains,  yet  he  did  not  gindge  to  give  God 
his  dues  out  of  it.  He  might  have  said,  “Have  1 
but  seven  sheep  to  begin  the  Avorld  Avith,  and  must 
one  of  those  seven  be  killed  and  burnt  for  sacrifice  r 
Were  it  net  lietter  to  defer  it,  till  Ave  have  more 
plenty?”  No,  to  prove  the  sincerity  of  his  love  and 
gratitude,  he  cheerfully  gives  the  se\..nth  to  his 
God,  as  an  acknowledgment  that  all  Avas  his,  and 
owing  to  him.  Serving  God  with  our  little,  is  the 
way  to  make  it  more;  and  Ave  must  never  think  that 
Avasted,  Avith  which  God  is  honoured.  (3.)  See 
here  the  antiejuity  of  religion:  the  first  thing  Ave  find 
done  in  the  ncAV  Avorld,  Avas  an  act  of  worship,  Jer. 
6.  16.  We  are  noAv  to  express  our  thankfulness, 
not  by  burnt-offerings,  but  by  the  saci  ifices  of  praise. 


73 


GENESIS.  IX. 


and  the  sacrifices  of  righteousness,  by  pious  devo- 
ti'^ns,  and  a pious  conversation. 

II.  God’s  gracious  acceptance  of  Noah’s  thank- 
f dness.  It  was  a settled  rule  in  the  patriarchal  age, 
If  thou  doest  well,  shall  thou  not  be  accep.ted'1  Noah 
was  so.  For, 

1.  God  was  well  pleased  with  the  performance, 
K.  21.  He  smelled  a sweet  savour,  or  a savour  of  rest, 
from  it;  as  it  is  in  the  Hebrew.  As  when  he  had  made 
the  world  at  first  on  the  seventh  day,  he  rested  and 
was  refreshed,  so  now  that  he  had  new-made  it,  in 
the  sacrifice  of  the  seventh  he  rested.  He  was 
jdeused  with  Noah’s  pious  zeal,  and  these  hopeful 
beginnings  of  the  new  world,  as  men  are  with  fra- 
grant and  agreeable  smells:  though  his  offering  was 
sm  ill,  it  was  according  to  his  ability,  and  God  ac- 
cepted it.  Having  caused  his  anger  to  rest  upon 
the  world  of  sinners,  he  here  caused  his  love  to  rest 
upon  this  little  remnant  of  believers. 

2.  Hereupon  he  took  up  a resolution  never  to 
drown  the  world  again.  Herein  he  had  an  eye,  not 
so  much  to  Noah’s  sacrifice,  as  to  Christ’s  sacrifice 
of  himself,  which  was  typified  and  represented  by 
it,  and  which  was  indeed  an  offering  of  a sweet- 
smelling savour,  Eph.  5.  2.  Good  security  is  here 
given,  and  that  which  may  be  relied  upon. 

(1. ) That  this  judgment  should  never  be  repeated. 
Noah  might  think,  “To  what  purpose  should  the 
world  be  repaired,  when,  in  all  probability,  for  the 
wickedness  of  it,  it  will  quickly  be  in  like  manner 
ruined  again.^”  “No,”  says  God,  “it  never  shall.” 
It  was  said,  ch.  6.  6,  It  refiented  the  I,ord  that  he 
had  made  man;  now  here  it  speaks  as  if  it  repented 
him  that  he  had  destroyed  man;  neither  means  a 
change  of  his  mind,  but  both  a change  of  his  way. 
It  repented  him  concerning  his  servants,  Deut.  32. 
36.  Two  ways  this  resolve  is  expressed:  [1.]  I 
will  not  again  curse  the  ground,  Hebrew,  I will  not 
add  to  curse  the  ground  any  more.  God  had  cursed 
the  ground  upon  the  first  entrance  of  sin  {ch.  3.  17.); 
when  he  had  drowned  it,  he  had  added  to  that 
curse;  but  now  he  determines  not  to  add  to  it  any 
more.  [2.]  A'either  will  I again  smite  any  more 
evf-ry  living  thing,  that  is,  it  was  determined  that 
whatever  ruin  God  might  bring  upon  particular 
persons,  or  families,  or  countries,  he  would  never 
again  destroy  the  whole  world,  till  the  day  shall 
come  when  time  shall  be  no  more.  But  the  reason 
of  this  resolve  is  very  surprising,  for  it  seems  the 
same  in  effect  with  the  reason  given  for  the  destruc- 
tGn  of  t'nis  world,  ch.  6.  5.  Because  the  imagina- 
tion ( f man’s  heart  is  evil  from  his  youth.  But 
there  is  this  difference;  there  it  is  said.  The  imagi- 
nafion  of  man’s  heart  is  evil  continually,  that  is, 
“ H’s  actual  transgressions  continually  cry  against 
hmi;”  here  it  is  said.  It  is  evil  from  his  youth  or 
childhood.  It  is  bred  in  the  bone,  he  brought  it  into 
the  world  with  him,  he  was  shapen  and  conceived 
in  it.  Now,  one  would  think,  it  should  follow, 
“I'herefore  that  guilty  race  shall  be  wholly  extin- 
gtiished,  and  I will  mahe  a full  end.”  No:  “There- 
f 're  I will  no  more  take  tlais  severe  method;  for, 
''irsr.  He  is  rather  to  be  pitied,  for  it  is  all  the  ef- 
fjctrf  sui  dwelling  in  him;  and  it  is  but  what  might 
be  expected  from  such  a degenerate  race:  he  is 
called  a transgressor  from  the  womb,  and  therefore 
it  is  n t strange  that  he  deals  so  a ery  treacherous- 
Iv',”  Isa.  48.  8.  Thus  God  remembers  that  he  is 
flesh.  Cl  rrupt  and  sinful,  Ps.  78.  39.  Secondly, 
“ He  will  be  utterly  ruined;  for  if  he  be  dealt  with 
according  to  his  deserts,  one  flood  must  succeed 
another  till  all  be  destroyed.”  See  here,  1.  That 
outward  judgments,  though  they  may  terrify  and 
restr  .in  men,  yet  cannot,  of  themselves,  sanctify 
and  renew  them;  the  grace  of  God  must  work  with 
chose  judgments.  Man’s  nature  was  as  sinful  after 
che  deluge  as  it  had  been  befoi’e.  That  Gcxi’s  good- 
VoL.  I.— K 


ness  takes- occasion  from  man’s  badness  to  magnify 
itself  the  more;  his  reasons  of  mercy  are  all  drawn 
from  himself,  not  from  any  thing  in  us. 

(2.)  That  the  course  of  nature  should  never  be 
discontinued,  v.  22,  While  the  earth  remaineth,  and 
man  upon  it,  there  shall  be  summer  and  winter,  net 
all  winter  as  had  been  this  last  year;  ''■day  and 
night,”  not  all  night,  as  probably  it  was  while  the 
rain  was  descending.  Here,  [1.]  It  plainly  inti- 
mated that  this  earth  is  not  to  remain  always;  it, 
and  all  the  works  in  it,  must  shortly  be  burnt  up; 
and  we  look  for  new  heavens  and  a new  earth, 
when  all  these  things  must  be  dissolved.  But,  [2.] 
As  long  as  it  does  remain,  God’s  providence  will 
carefully  preserve  the  regular  succession  of  times 
and  seasons,  and  cause  each  to  know  its  place.  To 
this  we  owe  it,  that  the  world  stands,  and  the  wheel 
of  nature  keeps  its  track.  See  here  how  changea- 
ble the  times  are,  and  yet  how  unchangeable.  Tirst, 
The  course  of  nature  always  changing.  As  it  is 
with  the  times,  so  it  is  with  the  events  ot  time,  they 
are  subject  to  vicissitudes,  day  and  night,  summer 
and  winter,  counterchanged.  In  heaven  and  hell 
it  is  not  so,  but  on  earth  God  hath  set  the  one  over 
against  the  other.  Secondly,  Yet  never  changed; 
it  is  constant  in  this  inconstancy;  these  seasons  have 
never  ceased,  nor  shall  cease,  while  the  sun  con- 
tinues such  a steady  measurer  of  time,  and  the 
moon  such  a faithful  witness  in  heaven.  This  is 
God’s  covenant  of  the  day  and  of  the  night,  the 
stability'  of  which  is  mentioned  for  the  confirming 
of  our  faith  in  the  covenant  of  grace,  which  is  no 
less  inviolable,  Jer.  33.  20.  We  see  God’s  promises 
to  the  creatures  made  good,  and  thence  may  infer 
that  his  promises  to  all  believers  shall  be  so. 

CHAP.  IX. 

Both  the  world  and  the  church  were  now  again  redueed  to 
a family,  the  family  of  Noah,  of  the  affairs  of  which  this 
chapter  gives  us  an  account,  which  we  are  the  more  con- 
cerned to  lake  cognizance  of,  because  from  this  family 
we  are  all  descendants.  Here  is,  I.  The  covenant  of 
providence  settled  with  Noah  and  his  sons,  v.  1.  .11.  In 
this  covenant,  1.  God  promises  them  to  take  care  of  their 
lives,  so  that  (1.)  They  should  replenish  the  earth,  v.  1, 
7.  (2.)  They  should  be  safe  from  the  insults  of  the  brute 
creatures,  which  should  stand  in  awe  of  them,  v.  2.  (3.) 
They  should  be  allowed  to  eat  flesh  for  the  support  of 
their  lives;  only  they  must  not  eat  blood,  v.  3,  4.  (4.) 

The  world  should  never  be  drowned  again,  v.  8.  .11.  2. 
God  requires  of  them  to  take  care  of  one  another’s  lives, 
and  of  their  own,  v.  5,  6.  II.  The  seal  of  that  covenant, 
namely,  the  rainbow,  v.  12..  17.  III.  A particular  pas- 
sage of  a story  concerning  Noah  and  his  sons,  which  oc- 
casioned some  prophecies  that  related  to  after-limes.  1. 
Noah’s  sin  and  shame,  v.  20,  21.  2.  Ham’s  impudence 

and  impiety,  v.  22.  3.  The  pious  modesty  of  Shem  and 

Japheth,  v.  23.  4.  The  curse  of  Canaan,  and  the  bless- 
ing of  Shem  and  Japheth,  v.  24.. 27.  IV.  The  age  and 
death  of  Noah,  v.  28,  29. 

1.  ND  God  blessed  Noah  and  his  sons, 
and  said  unto  them,  Be  fruitful,  and 
multiply,  and  replenish  the  earth.  2.  And 
the  fear  of  you  and  the  dread  of  you  shall 
be  upon  every  beast  of  the  earth,  and  upon 
every  Ibwl  of  the  air,  upon  all  that  moveth 
npon  the  earth,  and  upon  all  the  fishes  cf 
the  sea  ; into  your  hand  are  they  delivered. 
3.  Every  moving  thing  that  liveth,  shall  he 
meat  for  you ; even  as  the  green  herb  have 
I given  you  all  things : 4.  But  flesh  witli 

the  life  thereof,  which  is  the  blood  thereof, 
shall  ye  not  eat.  5.  And  surely  your  blooti 
of  your  lives  will  I require ; at  the  hand  of 
every  beast  will  I require  it,  and  at  the 


GENESIS,  IX. 


hand  of  man ; at  the  hand  of  every  man’s 
brother  will  I require  the  life  of  man  : 6. 

Whoso  sheddeth  man’s  blood,  by  man  shall 
his  blood  be  shed : for  in  the  image  of  God 
made  he  man  : 7.  And  you,  be  ye  fruitful, 

and  multiply;  bring  forth  abundantly  in  the 
earth,  and  multi-ply  therein. 

V^^e  read,  in  the  close  of  the  foregoing  chapter, 
the  very  kind  things  which  the  Lord  said  in  his 
heart,  concerning  the  remnant  of  mankind  which 
was  now  left  to  be  the  seed  of  a new  world.  Now 
here  we  have  those  kind  things  spoken  to  them-,  in 
general,  God  blessed  JSi^oah  and  his  sons,  v.  1,  that 
Is,  he  assured  them  of  his  good  will  to  them,  and  his 
gr.xious  intentions  concerning  them.  This  follows 
from  what  he  said  in  his  heart.  Note,  All  God’s 
promises  of  good  flow  from  his  purposes  of  lo\  e,  and 
the  counsels  of  his  own  will.  See  Eph.  1.  11. — 3. 
11,  and  compare  Jer.  29.  11,  I know  the  thoughts 
that  I think  towards  you.  We  read,  ch.  8.  20, 
how  Mah  blessed  God,  by  his  altar  and  sacriflce. 
Now  here  we  find  God  blessing  Noah.  Note,  1. 
God  will  graciously  bless  (that  is,  do  well  for)  them 
who  sincerely  bless  (that  is,  speak  well  of)  him.  2. 
Those  that  are  truly  thankful  for  the  niercies  they 
have  received,  take  the  readiest  way  to  have  them 
confirmed  and  continued  to  them. 

Now  here  we  have  the  Magna  Charta — the 
Great  Charter  oi  this  new  kingdom  of  nature  which 
was  now  to  be  erected,  and  incorporated,  the 
former  charter  having  been  forfeited  and  seized. 

I.  The  grants  of  this  charter  are  kind  and  gra- 
ci  us  to  men.  Here  is, 

1.  A grant  of  lands  of  vast  extent,  and  a promise 
{if  a great  iiicrease  of  men  to  occupy  and  enjoy 
them.  The  first  blessing  is  here  renewed,  lie 
fruitful,  and  multiply,  and  replenish  the  earth,  v. 
1,  and  repealed,  v.  7,  for  the  race  of  mankind  was, 
as  it  were,  to  begin  again.  Now,  (1.)  God  sets  the 
whole  e:irtla  before  them,  tells  them  it  is  all  their 
own,  while  it  remains,  to  them  and  their  heirs. 
Note,  The  earth  God  has  gi\  en  to  the  children  of 
men,  for  a possession  and  habitation,  Ps.  115.  16. 
Though  it  is  not  a paradise,  but  a wilderness  rather, 
yet  it  is  better  than  w'e  deserve.  Blessed  be  God, 
It  is  not  hell.  (2.)  He  gives  them  a blessing,  by  the 
iorce  and  \ irtue  of  which,  mankind  should  be  both 
multiplied  and  perpetuated  upon  earth;  so  that,  in 
a little  time,  all  the  habitable  parts  of  the  earth 
should  be  more  or  less  inhabited;  and  though  one 
gener  ition  should  p iss  away,  yet  anotlier  genera- 
tion should  come,  while  the  world  stands,  so  that 
the  stream  of  the  human  race  should  be  supplied 
with  a constant  succession,  and  nin  parallel  with  the 
current  of  time,  till  both  be  delivered  up  together 
into  the  ocean  of  eteniitv.  Thougli  death  should 
still  reign,  and  the  Lord  wo.uld  still  lie  known  by  his 
judgments,  yet  the  earth  shoidd  never  agrdn  be  dis- 
peo])led  as  now  it  was,  but  still  rcjjlenished.  Acts 
17.  24.,  26. 

2.  A grant  of  pow'er  over  the  inferior  creatures, 
V.  2.  He  grants,  (1.)  A title  to  them.  Into  your 
hands  they  are  delivered,  for  your  use  and  benefit. 
(2  ) A doiuinion  over  them,  without  which  the  title 
would  avail  little.  77/e  fear  of  you  and  the  dread 
of  you  shall  be  upon  everu  hea.st.  This  revives  a 
former  gruit,  ch.  1.  28,  onlv  with  this  diflerence, 
that  man  in  innocence  ruled  bv  love,  fallen  man 
rules  by  fear.  Now  this  grant  remains  in  force, 
and  thus  far  we  have  still  the  benefit  of  it.  [1.] 
That  those  creatures  which  arc  anv  way  useful  to 
us,  are  reclaimed,  and  we  use  them  either  for  ser- 
vice, or  food,  or  both,  as  they  are  capable.  The 
norse  and  ox  patiently  submit  to  the  bridle  and 


yoke,  and  the  sheep  is  dumb  both  before  the  shear- 
er, and  before  the  butcher;  for  the  fear  and  dread 
of  man  are  upon  them.  [2.]  Those  creatures  that 
are  any  way  hurtful  to  us  are  restrained,  so  th.at 
though  now  and  then  man  may  be  hurt  by  some  of 
them,  yet  they  do  net  combine  together  to  rise  up 
in  rebellion  against  man,  else  God  could  by  tlicse 
destroy  the  wcrld  as  eft'ectually  as  he  did  by  a de 
luge;  it  is  one  of  God’s  sore  judgments,  Ezvk.  14 
21.  \^''hat  is  it  that  keeps  wolves  out  of  our  towns, 

and  lions  out  of  our  streets,  and  confines  tlicm  tc 
the  w'ilderness,  but  this  fear  and  dread.^  Nay,  s.  mt 
have  been  tamed,  James  3.  7. 

3.  A grant  of  maintenance  and  subsistence,  v.  3, 
Every  moving  thing  that  liveth,  shall  be  meat  for 
you.  Hitherto,  most  think,  man  had  been  confined 
to  feed  only  upon  the  products  of  the  earth,  fi  uits, 
herbs,  and  roots,  and  all  s^  rts  of  corn  and  milk;  so 
was  the  first  grant,  ch.  1.  29.  But  the  flood  ha.viilg 
perhaps  washed  aw'ay  much  1f>f  the  ^■iI tue  of  the 
earth,  and  so  rendered  its  fruits  less  pleasing,  and 
less  nourishing;  God  now  enlarged  the  grant,  and 
allowed  man  to  eat  flesh,  which  perhaps  man  him- 
self never  thought  of,  till  now  that  Gc  cl  directed 
him  to  it,  nor  had  any  more  desire  to,  than  a sheep 
has  to  suck  blood  like  a wolf.  But  now  man  is  al- 
lowed to  feed  upon  flesh,  as  freely  and  safely  as 
upon  the  green  herb.  Now  here  see,  (1.)  That 
God  is  a good  Master,  and  provides,  net  only  that 
we  may  live,  but  that  we  may  live  comfcrtablv,  in 
his  service;  not  for  necessity  cnly,  but  fer  delight.' 
(2.)  That  every  creature  of  God  is  good,  and 
nothing  to  be  refused,  1 Tim.  4.  4.  Afterward, 
some  meats  that  were  proper  enough  for  feed,  were 
prohibited  by  the  ceremonial  law;  but  trim  the  be- 
ginning, it  seems,  it  was  not  so,  and  therefore  it  is 
not  so  under  the  gospel. 

II.  The  precepts  and  provisos  of  this  charter  are 
no  less  kind  and  gracious,  and  instances  of  God’s 
good-will  to  man.  The  Jewish  doctors  speak  sc 
often  of  the  seven  precepts  of  Noah,  or  cf  the  sons 
of  Noah,  which,  they  say,  were  to  be  oljserved  by 
all  nations,  that  it  may  not  be  amiss  to  set  them 
down.  The  first  against  the  worship  of  idols.  'I'hc 
second  against  blay)hcmy,  and  requiring  to  bless 
the  name  of  God.  The  third  against  murder.  The 
fourth  against  incest  and  all  uncleanness.  The  fifth 
against  theft  and  rapine.  The  sixth  requiring  the 
administration  of  justice.  'Fhe  seventh  against 
eating  of  flesh  with  the  life.  These  the  Jews  re- 
quired the  observation  of  from  the  proselytes  of  the 
gate.  But  the  precepts  here  given,  all  concern  the 
life  of  man. 

1.  Man  must  not  prejudice  his  own  life  by  eating 
that  food  which  is  unwholesome  and  prejudicial  to 
his  health,  t'.  4,  Elesh  with  the  life  thereof,  which  is 
the  blood  thereof,  that  is,  “raw  flesh,  shall  ye  net 
eat,  as  the  beasts  of  pi-ey  do.  ” It  was  neccssaiy  to 
add  this  limitation  to  the  grant  of  libertv  to  eat 
flesh,  lest,  instead  of  nourishing  their  Iv  dies  by  it, 
they  should  destroy  them.  God  would  hereby 
show,  (1.)  That  though  they  were  lords  of  the 
creatures,  yet  they  were  subjects  to  the  Creator, 
and  under  the  restraint  of  his  law.  (2. ) I'hat  they 
must  not  be  greedy  and  hasty  in  taking  their  fi  cd, 
but  stay  the  jn-epa’ring  of  it;  not  like  Saul’s  sc  Idiers, 
1 Sam.  14.  32,  nor  riotous  eaters  of  flesh,  Pro\'.  23. 
20.  (3.)  That  they  mu.st  not  be  bart).irous  and 

cruel  totb.e  infenor  creatures;  they  must  be  Lords, 
but  not  Tynmts;  they  might  kill  theni  for  their 
jn-ofit,  but  not  torment  them  for  their  pleasure;  nor 
tear  away  the  member  of  a creature  while  it  was 
yet  alive,  and  eat  tluit.  (4.)  That  during  the  con- 
tinuance of  the  law  of  sacrifices,  in  which  the  blood 
made  atonement  for  the  soul,  L.ev.  17.  11,  (signify- 
ing tint  the  life  of  the  sacrifice  was  accepted  for  the 
life  of  the  sinner,)  blood  must  not  be  locked  upon  a** 


75 


GENESIS,  IX. 


a common  thing,  but  must  be  fioured  out  before  the 
Lord,  2 Sam.  23.  16,  either  upon  his  altar,  or  upon 
his  earth.  But  now  that  the  great  and  true  sacn- 
fice  is  offered,  the  obligation  of  the  law  ceases  Avith 
the  reason  of  it. 

2.  Man  must  not  take  away  his  own  life,  v.  5, 
Your  blood  of  your  lives  will  t require.  Our  lives 
are  not  so  our  own,  as  that  we  may  quit  them  at  our 
own  pleasure,  but  they  are  God’s,  and  we  must  re- 
sign them  at  his  pleasure;  if  we  any  way  hasten  our 
own  deaths,  we  are  accountable  to  God  for  it. 

3.  The  beasts  must  not  be  suffered  to  hurt  the 
life  of  man;  at  the.  hand  of  every  beast  will  I require 
it.  To  show  how  tender  God  was  of  the  life  of 
man,  though  he  had  lately  made  such  destruction 
of  lives,  he  Avill  have  the  beast  put  to  death,  that  kills 
a man.  This  was  confirmed  by  the  law  of  Moses, 
Exod.  21.  28,  and  I think  it  would  not  be  unsafe  to 
obsen^e  it  still.  Thus  God  showed  his  hatred  of  tlie 
sin  of  murder,  that  men  might  hate  it  the  more,  and 
not  only  punish,  but  prevent  it.  And  see  Job  5.  23. 

4.  Wilful  murderej^  must  be  put  to  death.  This 
is  the  sin  which  is  here  designed  to  be  restrained  by 
the  terror  of  punishment.  (1.)  God  will  punish 
murderers.  At  the  hand  of  emery  man's  brother 
will  I require  the  life  of  man;  that  is,  “I  will  avenge 
the  blood  of  the  murdered  upon  the  murderer,”  2 
Chron.  24.  22.  When  God  requires  the  life  cf  a 
man  at  the  hand  of  him  that  took  it  away  unjustly, 
the  murderer  cannot  render  that,  and  therefoi-e 
must  render  his  own  in  lieu  of  it,  Avhich  is  the  only 
way  left  of  making  restitution.  Note,  The  righteous 
God  will  certainly  make  inquisition  fcr  blood, 
though  men  cannot,  or  do  not.  One  time  or  other, 
in  this  world  or  in  the  next,  he  will  both  discover 
concealed  murders,  which  are  hidden  from  man’s 
eye,  and  punish  avowed  and  justified  murders, 
which  are  too  great  for  man’s  hand.  (2.)  The 
magistrate  must  punish  murderers,  v.  6,  IVhoso 
sheddeth  ma?i’s  blood,  whether  upon  a sudden  pro- 
vocation, or  having  premeditated  it,  (for  rash  anger 
is  heart-murder  as  well  as  malice  prepense.  Matt. 

5.  21,  22.)  by  man  shall  his  blood  be  shed,  that  is, 
by  the  magistrate,  or  whoever  is  appointed  or  al- 
lowed to  be  the  avenger  of  blood.  There  are  those 
who  arc  ministers  of  God  for  this  purpose,  to  be  a 
protection  to  the  innocent,  by  being  a terror  to  the 
malici''us  and  evil-doers,  and  they  must  not  bear  the 
s^uord  in  vain,  Rom,  13.  14.  Before  the  flood,  as 
it  shovild  seem  by  the  story  of  Cain,  God  took  the 
punishment  of  murder  into  his  own  hands;  but  now 
he  committed  this  judgment  to  men,  to  niasters  of 
frimflies  at  first,  and  afterwards,  to  the  heads  of 
countries,  who  ought  to  be  faithful  to  the  trust  re- 
posed in  them.  Note,  Wilful  murder  ought  alwavs 
to  be  punished  with  death.  It  is  a sin  which  the 
Lord  would  not  pardon  in  a Prince,  2 Kings,  24. 
3,  4,  and  which  therefore  a Prince  should  not  par- 
don in  a Subject.  To  this  law  there  is  a reason 
annexed;  for  in  the  image  of  God  made  he  man  at 
first:  man  is  a creuture  dear  to  his  Creator,  and 
thereTre  ought  to  be  so  to  us;  God  put  honour  upon 
him,  let  us  not  then  put  contempt  upon  him.  Such 
remains  of  God’s  image  are  still  even  upon  f dlen 
man,  as  that  he  who  unjustly  kills  a man,  defaces 
the  im  sge  of  God,  and  does  dishonour  to  him. 
When  God  allowed  men  to  kill  their  beasts,  yet  he 
forbade  them  to  kill  their  slaves;  for  these  are  of  a 
much  more  noble  and  excellent  nature,  not  onlv 
God’s  creatures,  but  his  image.  Jam.  3.  9.  All 
men  have  something  of  the  image  of  God  iqmn 
them;  but  magistrates  have,  besides,  the  image  cf 
his  power,  and  the  saints  the  image  of  his  holiness, 
and  therefore  those  Avho  shed  the  blood  of  princes 
or  saints,  incur  a double  guilt. 

8.  And  God  spake  unto  Noah,  and  to  his 
sons  with  him,  saying,  9.  And  I,  behold,  I, 


establish  iny  covenant  with  you,  and  with 
your  seed  after  you : 1 0.  And  with  every 

living  creature  that  with  you,  of  the  fowl, 
of  the  cattle,  and  of  eveiy  beast  of  the  earth 
with  you  ; from  all  that  go  out  of  the  ark,  to 
every  beast  of  the  earth:  11.  And  I will 
I establish  my  covenant  with  you;  neithei 
shall  all  flesh  be  cut  oft  any  more  by  the 
waters  of  a flood ; neither  shall  there  any 
more  be  a flood  to  destroy  the  earth. 

Here  is, 

I.  The  general  establishment  of  God’s  covenant 
with  tliis  new  wr  rid,  and  the  extent  of  that  cove- 
nant, V.  9,  10.  Where  observe,  1.  That  God  is 
graciously  pleased  to  deal  Avith  man  in  the  way  of 
a covenant;  wherein  God  greatly  magnifies  his  con- 
descending favour,  and  greatly  encourages  man’s 
duty  and  obedience,  as  a reasonable  and  gainful  ser- 
vice. 2.  That  all  God’s  covenants  with  man  are 
of  his  own  making,  I,  behold,  I.  It  is  thus  ex- 
pressed, beth  to  raise  our  admiration,  (“Behold, 
and  Avonder,  that  though  God  be  high,  yet  he  has 
th's  respect  to  man,”)  and  to  confirm  our  assurances 
of  the  validity  of  the  covenant.  ‘ ‘ Behold,  and  see, 
1 make  it;  I that  am  faithful,  and  able  to  make  it 
good.”  3.  That  God’s  covenants  are  established 
firmer  than  the  pillars  of  heaven,  or  the  foundations 
ofthe  earth,  and  cannot  be  disannulled.  4.  ThatGod’s 
covenants  are  made  Avith  the  covenanters  and  Avith 
their  seed;  the  promise  is  to  them  and  their  chil- 
dren. 5.  That  those  may  be  taken  into  covenant 
with  God,  and  receive  the  benefits  of  it,  who  yot 
are  not  capable  of  restipulating,  or  giving  their  OAvn 
consent.  For  this  coA'enant  is  made  Avith  every  liv- 
ing creature,  every  beast  of  the  earth. 

II.  The  particular  intention  of  this  covenant;  it 
Avas  designed  to  secure  the  world  from  another  de- 
luge, V.  11,  There  shall  not  any  more  be  a food. 
God  had  droAvned  the  Avorld  once,  and,  still  it  is  as 
filthy  and  provoking  as  eA  er,  and  God  foresaAV  the 
wickedness  of  it,  and  yet  promised  he  Avould  never 
droAvn  it  any  more;  for  he  deals  not  Avith  us  accord- 
ing to  cur  sins.  It  is  owing  to  God’s  goodness  and 
faithfulness,  not  to  any  reformatiom  of  the  Avorld, 
that  it  has  net  often  been  deluged,  and  that  it  is  not 
deluged  now.  As  the  old  world  was  ruined,  to  be 
a monument  of  justice,  so  this  Avorld  remains  to  this 
dav,  a monument  of  mercy,  according  to  the  oath 
of  God,  that  the  waters  of  JYoah  should  no  mo7'e  re- 
tnm  to  cover  the  earth,  Isa.  54.  9.  This  promise 
of  God  keeps  the  sea  and  clouds  in  their  decreed 
place,  and  sets  them  gates  and  bars;  hitherto  they 
shall  come.  Job  38.  10,  11.  If  the  sea  should  floAv 
but  for  a few  days,  as  it  does  tAvice  every  day  for  a 
fcAv  hours,  what  desolation  would  it  make!  And 
hoAv  destructiv'e  Avould  the  clouds  be,  if  such  shoAv- 
ers  as  we  have  sometimes  seen,  Avere  continued 
long!  But  God,  by  floAving  seas,  and  sweeping 
rains,  shoAvs  what  he  could  do  in  wrath ; and  yet,  by 
preserving  the  earth  from  being  deluged  betAveen 
both,  shows  what  he  can  do  in  mercy,  and  will  do  in 
truth.  Let  us  give  him  the  glory  of  his  mercy  in 
promising,  and  truth  in  perfonuing.  This  prornise 
does  not  hinder,  1.  But  that  God  may  bring  other 
Avasting  judgments  upon  mankind;  for  though  he 
has  here  bound  himself  not  to  use  this  arroAv  anv' 
more,  yet  he  has  other  arroAvs  in  his  quiver.  2. 
Not  but  that  he  may  destroy  particular  places  and 
countries  by  the  inundations  of  the  sea  or  rivers. 
3.  Nor  Avill  the  destruction  of  the  Avoild  at  the  last 

, day  by  fire,  be  any  breach  of  his  promise.  Sin  th- 1 
I drowned  the  old  Avorld,  Avill  bum  this. 

j 12.  And  God  said,  This  is  the  token  of 
I the  covenant  which  I make  between  me  and 


76 


GENESIS,  IX. 


you  and  every  living  creature  that  is  with 
you,  for  perpetual  generations  : 13.1  do  set 
my  bow  in  the  cloud,  and  it  shall  be  for  a 
token  of  a covenant  between  me  and  the 
earth.  14.  And  it  shall  come  to  pass,  when 
1 bring  a cloud  over  the  earth,  that  the  bow 
shall  be  seen  in  the  cloud  : 15.  And  1 will 

remember  my  covenant,  which  i:  between 
me  and  you  and  eveiy  living  creature  of  all 
flesh ; and  the  waters  shall  no  more  become 
a flood  to  destroy  all  flesh.  16.  And  the 
bow  shall  be  in  the  cloud;  and  I will  look 
upon  it,  that  I may  remember  the  everlasting 
covenant  between  God  and  every  living 
creature  of  all  flesh  that  is  upon  the  earth. 
17.  And  God  said  unto  Noah,  This  is  the 
token  of  the  covenant,  which  1 have  esta- 
blished between  me  and  all  flesh  that  is  up- 
on the  earth. 

Articles  of  agreement  among  men  are  sealed,  that 
the  covenants  may  be  the  more  solemn,  and  the 
performances  of  the  covenants  the  more  sure,  to 
mutual  satisfaction;  God  therefore  being  willing 
more  abundantly  to  show  to  tlie  heirs  of  promise  the 
immutability  of  his  councils,  has  confirmed  his  cove- 
nant by  a seal,  (Hel).  6.  17.)  which  makes  the  foun- 
dations we  build  on,  stand  sure,  2 Tim.  2.  19.  The 
seal  of  this  covenant  of  nature  was  natural  enough; 
it  was  the  rainbow,  which,  it  is  likely,  was  seen  in 
the  clouds  before,  when  second  causes  concurred, 
but  was  never  a seal  of  the  covenant,  till  now  that 
it  was  made  so  by  a divine  institution.  Now  con- 
cerning this  seal  of  the  covenant,  Observe, 

1.  This  seal  is  affixed  with  repeated  assurances 
of  the  truth  of  that  promise  whicli  it  was  designed 
to  be  the  ratification  of.  I set  my  bow  in  the  cloud, 
(y.  13.)  it  shall  be  seen  in  the  cloud,  {y.  14.)  that 
the  eye  may  affect  the  heart,  and  confirm  the  faith;  j, 
and  it  shall  be  the  token  of  the  covenant  (xa  12,  13.); 
and  I will  remember  my  covenant,  that  the  waters 
shall  no  more  become  a food,  v.  15.  Nay,  as  if  the 
Eternal  Mind  needed  a memorandum,  1 will  look  \ 
ufxon  it,  that  I may  remember  the  everlasting  cove-  j 
nant,  v.  16.  Thus  here  is  line  upon  line,  that  we 
might  have  a sure  and  strong  cfinsolation,  who  have 
laid  hold  on  this  hope.  '2.  The  rainbow  appears 
then  when  the  clouds  are  most  disposed  to  wet,  and 
returns  after  the  rain;  then  when  we  have  most  rea- 
son to  fear  the  rain  prevailing,  God  shows  this  seal 
of  the  promise  that  it  shall  not  prevail.  Thus  God 
obviates  our  fears  with  such  encouragements  as  are 
both  suitable  and  seasonable.  3.  The  thicker  the 
cloud,  the  brighter  the  bow  in  the  cloud.  Thus  as 
threatening  afflictions  abound,  encouraging  conso- 
lations much  more  abound,  2 Cor.  1.  5.  4.  The 

rainbow  appeai-s  when  one  part  of  the  sky  is  clear, 
which  intimates  mercy  remembered  in  the  midst  of 
wrath;  and  the  clouds  are  hemmed  as  it  were  with 
the  rainbow,  that  it  may  not  overspread  the  heavens; 
for  the  bow  is  coloured  rain,  or  the  edges  of  a cloud 
gilded.  5.  The  rainbow  is  the  reflection  of  the 
beams  of  the  sun,  which  intimates  that  all  the  glory 
and  significancy  of  the  seals  of  the  covenant  are  de- 
rived from  Christ  the  Sun  of  righteousness,  who  is 
.also  described  with  a rainbow  about  his  throne 
(Rev.  4.  3.)  and  a rainbow  ufion  his  head  (Rev.  10. 
1.);  which  bespeaks  not  only  his  majesty,  but  his 
mediatorship.  6.  'I'he  rainbow  has  fiery  colours  in 
ir,  to  signify,  that  though  (iod  will  not  again  drown 
'he  world,  yet  when  the  mystery  of  God  shall  be 
finished,  the  world  shall  be  consumed  by  fire.  7. 


A bow  bespeaks  terror,  but  it  has  neither  string  nor 
arrow,  as  the  bow  ordained  against  the  persecutors 
has;  (Ps.  7.  12,  13.)  and  a bow  alone  will  do  little 
execution;  it  is  a bow,  but  it  is  directed  upward,  not 
toward  the  eaith;  for  the  seals  of  the  covenant  were 
intended  for  comfort,  not  to  terrify.  JLastly,  As 
God  looks  upon  the  bow,  that  he  may  remember  the 
covenant,  so  should  we,  that  we  also  may  be  ever 
mindful  of  the  covenant,  witli  faith  and  thankfulness. 

18.  And  the  sons  of  Noah,  that  went  forth 
of  the  ark,  were  Shein,  and  Ham,  and  Ja- 
pheth : and  Ham  is  tlie  father  of  Canaan. 

19.  These  are  the  three  sons  of  Noah  : and 
of  them  was  the  whole  earth  overspread. 

20.  And  Noah  l)egan  to  he  an  husbandman, 
and  he  planted  a vineyard:  21.  And  he 
drank  of  the  v\  ine,  and  was  drunken ; and 
he  was  uncovered  within  his  tent.  22.  And 
Ham,  the  father  of  Canaan,  saw  the  naked- 
ness of  his  father,  and  told  his  two  brethren 
without.  23.  And  Shem  and  .Tapheth  took 
a garment,  and  laid  it  upon  both  their  shoul- 
ders, and  went  backward,  and  covered  the 
nakedness  of  their  father;  and  their  faces 
were  backward,  and  they  saw  not  their  fa- 
ther’s nakedness. 

Here  is, 

I.  Noah’s  family  and  employment.  The  names 
of  his  sons  are  again  mentioned,  (x;.  18,  19.)  as 
those  from  whom  the  wh('le  earth  was  overspread. 
By  which  it  appears  that  Noah,  after  the  flood,  had 
no  more  children:  all  the  world  came  from  these 
three.  Note,  God,  when  he  pleases,  can  make  a 
little  one  to  become  a thousand,  and  greatly  increase 
the  latter  end  of  those  wIk  se  beginning  was  s?nall. 
Such  ai  e the  p^wer  and  efficacy  of  a divine  blessing. 
The  business  Noah  applied  himself  to,  was  that  of 
a husbandman,  Hebr.  a man  of  the  earth,  th.;t  is,  a 
man  dealing  in  the  earth,  that  kept  ground  in  his 
hand,  and  occupied  it.  We  are  all  naturalh  men 
of  the  earth,  made  of  it,  living  on  it,  and  hastening 
to  it:  many  are  sinfully  so,  addicted  to  earthly 
things.  Noah  was  led  by  his  calling  to  trade  in  the 
froits  of  the  earth.  He  began  to  be  a husbandman; 
that  is,  some  time  after  his  departure  out  of  the  ark, 
he  returned  to  his  old  employment,  from  which  he 
had  been  di\  erted  by  the  building  of  the  ark  first, 
and,  probably,  afterward,  by  the  building  of  a house 
on  dry-land  for  himself  and  family.  For  this  good 
while  he  had  been  a carpenter,  but  now  he  began 
again  to  be  a husbandman.  Observe,  Though  No- 
ah was  a great  man,  and  a good  man,  an  old  man. 
and  a rich  man,  a man  greatly  favoured  by  Heaven, 
and  honoured  on  earth,  yet  he  would  not  live  an  idle 
life,  nor  think  the  husbandman’s  calling  below  him. 
Note,  Though  God  by  his  providence  may  take  us 
off"  from  our  callings  for  a time,  vet  when  the  occa- 
sion is  over,  we  ought  with  humility  and  industry  to 
apply  ourselves  to  them  again  ; and  in  the  calling 
wherein  we  are  called,  therein  faithfully  to  abide 
with  (loci,  1 Cor.  7.  24. 

II.  Noah’s  sin  and  shame.  He  planted  a vine- 
yard; and  when  he  had  gathered  his  vintage  pro- 
bably, he  aiipointed  a day  of  mirth  and  feasting  in 
his  nunily,  and  had  his  sons  and  their  children  tvith 
him,  to  rejoice  with  him  in  the  increase  of  his  house, 
as  well  as  in  the  increase  of  his  vineyard;  and  we 
may  suppose  he  jirefaced  his  feast  with  a sacrifice 
to  the  honour  of  God.  If  that  was  omitted,  at  was 
just  with  God  to  leave  him  to  himself,  that  he  who 
did  not  begin  with  God,  might  end  with  the  beasts; 


GENESIS,  IX. 


but  we  charitably  hope  the  case  was  different.  And  '| 
perhaps  he  appointed  this  feast,  with  a design,  at  ' 
the  close  of  it,  to  bless  his  sons,  as  Imac,  ch.  27.  3,  'j 
4,  T/iat  I ?nay  eat,  and  that  my  soul  may  bless  thee,  j; 
At  this  feast,  he  drank  of  the  wine;  for  who  plunteth  'i 
a vineyard,  and  eateth  not  of  the  fruit  of  it?  But  he  | 
drank  too  liberally,  more  than  his  head  at  tins  age  | 
would  bear;  for  he  was  drunken.  We  have  reasiai  ! 
to  think  he  was  never  drunken  before  or  after;  ob-  * 
serve  how  he  came  now  to  be  overtaken  in  this  fault,  j 
It  was  his  sin,  and  a great  sin,  so  much  the  worse  f r ! 
its  being  so  soon  after  a great  deli\'erance;  but  God  j 
left  him  to  himself,  as  he  did  Hezekiah,  (2  Chron. 
32.  31.)  and  has  left  this  miscarriage  of  his  upon  re- 
cord, to  teach  us,  1.  That  the  fairest  copy  that  ever 
mere  man  wrote  since  the  fall,  had  its  blots  and  false 
strokes.  It  was  said  of  Noah,  that  he  was  /lerfcct 
in  his  generations  {ch.  6.  9.);  but  this  shows  that  it  is 
meant  of  sincerity,  not  a sinless  perfection.  2.  That 
sometimes  those,  who,  with  watchfulness  and  reso- 
lution, have  by  the  grace  of  God,  kept  their  integri- 
ty in  the  midst  of  temptation,  have,  through  secu-  ! 
rity,  and  carelessness,  and  neglect  of  the  grace  of 
God,  been  suiprised  into  sin,  when  the  hour  of 
temptation  has  been  over.  Noah,  who  had  kept  sober 
in  drunken  company,  is  now  drunken  in  sober  com- 
pany. Let  him  that  thinks  he  stands  take  heed.  3. 
That  we  ha^'e  need  to  be  very  careful  when  we  use 
God’s  good  creatures  plentifully,  lest  we  use  them 
to  excess.  Chi’ist’s  disciples  must  take  heed,  lest 
at  any  time  their  hearts  be  overcharged,  Luke  21.  34. 

Now  the  conseqiience  of  Noah’s  sin  was  shame. 
He  was  uncovered  within  his  tent,  made  naked  to 
his  shame,  as  Adam  when  he  had  eaten  forbidden 
fmit.  Yet  Adam  sought  concealment;  Noah  is  so 
destitute  of  thought  and  reason,  that  he  seeks  no  co- 
vering, This  was  a fruit  of  the  vine,  that  Noah  did 
not  think  of.  Observe  here  the  great  e\  il  of  the  sin 
of  drunkenness.  (1.)  It  discovers  men;  w’hat  infir- 
mities they  have,  they  betray  when  they  are  drunk- 
en, and  what  secrets  they  are  intiiisted  with,  are 
then  easily  got  out  of  them.  Drunken  porters  keep 
open  gales.  (2.)  It  disgraces  me}^,  and  exposes  them 
to  contempt.  As  it  shows  them,  so  it  shames  them. 
Men  say  and  do  that  when  dnmken,  which,  when 
they  are  sober,  they  would  blush  at  the  thoughts  of, 
Hab.  2.  15,  16. 

III.  Ham’s  impudence  and  impiety:  (r’.  22.)  he 
saw  the  nakedness  of  his  father,  and  told  his  two 
brethren.  To  see  it  accidentally  and  involuntarily, 
would  not  have  been  a crime;  but,  1.  He  pleased 
himself  with  the  sight,  as  the  Edomites  looked  upon 
the  day  of  their  brother,  (()l)ad.  12.)  pleased  and 
insulting.  Perhaps  Ham  had  sometimes  been  him- 
self drunken,  and  re])ro\  ed  for  it  b\'  his  good  father, 
whom  he  was  therefore  jdeased  to  see  thus  over- 
come. Note,  It  is  common  for  those  who  walk  in 
false  ways  themselves,  to  rejoice  at  the  false  steps 
which  they  sometimes  see  othei’smake.  But  chanty 
rejoices  not  in  iniquity,  nor  can  true  penitents,  that 
are  sorry  for  their  own  sins,  rejoice  in  the  sins  of 
others.  2.  He  told  his  two  brethren  without,  ( in 
the  street,  as  the  rvord  is,)  in  a sconiful  deriding 
manner,  that  his  father  might  seem  vile  unto  them. 

It  is  very  wrong,  (1.)  To  make  a jest  of  sin,  (Prov. 
14.  9.)  and  to  be  puffed  up  with  that  for  which  we 
should  rather  mourn,  1 Cor,  5.  2.  And  (2.)  To 
publish  the  faults  of  any,  especially  of  parents, 
whom  it  is  our  duty  to  honour.  Noah  was  not  only 
a good  Twan;  but  had  been  a good  father  to  him;  and 
this  was  a most  base  disingenuous  requital  to  him  for 
his  tenderness.  Ham  is'  here  called  the  father  of  ! 
Canaan,  which  intimates  that  he  who  was  himself 

a father,  should  have  been  more  respectful  to  him 
that  was  his  father. 

IV.  The  pious  care  of  Shem  and  J^heth  to  cover 
their  ])oor  father’s  shame,  v.  23.  They  not  only  y 


would  not  see  it  themselves,  but  provided  that  no 
one  else  might  see  it;  herein  setting  us  an  example 
of  charity  with  reference  to  other  men’s  sin  and 
shame;  we  must  ii' t only  not  say,  A confederacy, 
with  these  that  proclaim  it,  but  we  must  be  careful 
to  conceal  it,  or  however  to  make  the  best  of  it,  sc 
doing  as  we  would  be  done  by.  1.  There  is  a man- 
tle of  love  to  be  thrown  over  the  faults  of  all. 
1 Pet.  4.  8.  Beside  that,  there  is  a robe  of  rever 
ence  to  be  thrown  over  the  faults  of  parents  anO 
ether  superiors. 

24.  And  Noah  awoke  from  his  wine,  and 
knew  what  his  younger  son  had  done  unto 
him.  25.  And  he  said,  Cursed  he  Canaan ; 
a servant  of  seiTants  shall  he  be  unto  his 
brethren.  26.  And  he  said.  Blessed  be  the 
Lord  God  of  Shem ; and  Canaan  shall  be 
his  servant.  27.  God  shall  enlarge  Japheth, 
and  he  shall  dwell  in  the  tents  of  Shem ; and 
Canaan  shall  be  his  servant. 

Here, 

I.  Noah  comes  to  himself.  He  awoke  from  his 
wine:  sleep  cured  him,  and,  we  may  suppose,  so 
cured  him,  that  he  never  relapsed  into  that  sin  af- 
terward. Those  that  sleep  as  Noah  did,  should 
aw  ake  as  he  did,  and  not  as  that  dnankard,  Prov.  23. 
35.  who  says  when  he  awakes,  I will  seek  it  yet 
again. 

II.  The  spirit  of  prophecy  comes  upon  him,  and, 
like  dying  Jacob,  he  tells  his  sons  w-hat  should  befai 
them,  ch.  49.  1.  t:.  25. 

1.  He  pronounces  a curse  on  Canaan  the  son  of 
Ham,  in  whom  Ham  is  himself  cursed;  either,  be- 
cause this  son  of  his  was  now  more  guilty  than  the 
rest,  or,  because  the  posterity  of  this  son  was  after- 
ward to  !)e  rooted  cut  of  their  land,  to  make  room 
for  Israel.  And  Moses  here  records  it  for  the  ani 
mating  of  Israel  in  the  wars  of  Canaan;  though  the 
Canaanites  were  formidable  people,  yet  they  were 
of  old  an  accursed  people,  and  doomed’to  ruin.  The 
particular  curse  is,  a serwant  of  servants,  that  is, 
the  me  inest  and  most  despicable  servant,  shall  he 
be,  e\'en  to  his  brethren.  These  who  by  birth  were 
his  equals,  shall  by  conquest  be  his  lords.  Th’s  cer- 
tainly points  at  the  victories  obtained  bv  Israel  over 
the  Canaanites,  by  which  they  were  all  either  put 
to  the  sword,  or  put  under  tribute,  (Josh.  9.  23. 
Judg.  1.  28,  30,  33,  35.)  which  happened  not  till 
about  800  years  after  this.  Note,  (1.)  God  often 
visits  the  iniquity  of  the  fathers  upon  the  children, 
especiallv  when  the  children  inherit  their  fathers’ 
wicked  dispositions,  and  imitate  the  father’s  wick- 
ed practices,  and  do  nothing  to  cut  off  the  entail  of 
a curse.  (2.)  Disgrace  is  justly  put  upon  those  that 
put  disgrace  upon  others,  especially  that  dishonour 
and  grieve  their  own  parents.  An  undutiful  child 
that  mocks  at  his  parents,  is  no  more  worthy  to  be 
called  a son,  but  desen'es  to  be  made  as  a hired  ser- 
vant, nay  as  a servaiit  of  servants,  among  his  bre 
thren.  (3.)  Though  di^dne  curses  operate  slowly, 
yet,  first  or  last,  they  will  take  effect.  The  Ca 
naanites  were  under  a curse  of  slavery,  and  yet,  for 
a great  while,  had  the  dominion;  for  a family,  a 
people,  a person,  may  lie  under  the  curse  of  God, 
and  yet  may  long  prosper  in  the  world,  till  the  mea- 
sure of  their  iniquity,  like  that  of  the  Canaanites,  be 
fiill.  Many  are  marked  for  ruin,  that  are  not  yet 
ripe  for  min.  Therefore,  Let  not  thine  heart  envy 
sin?2ers. 

2.  He  entails  a blessing  upon  Shem  and  Japheth. 

(1.)  He  blesses  Shem,  or,  rather  blesses  God  toi 

him,  yet  so  that  it  entitles  him  to  the  greatest  ho- 
nour and  happiness  imaginable,  t'.  26.  Obser\o, 


7a 


GENESIS,  X. 


[1.]  He  Calls  the  Lord,  the  God  of  i'/icw  ; and 
happy,  thr.i^e  ha/ijiy  is  that  Jieo/ile  vjhase  God  is  the 
Lord,  Ps.  144.  15.  All  blcssaigs  are  included  in 
this.  This  was  the  blessing  conferred  on  Abraham 
and  his  seed;  the  God  of  Heaven  was  not  ashamed 
to  be  called  their  God,  Heb.  11.  16.  Shern  is  suffi- 
ciently recompensed  for  his  respect  to  his  father  by 
this,  that  the  I.,ord  himself  puts  his  honour  upon 
him,  to  be  his  God,  which  is  a sufficient  recompense 
for  all  our  sem  ices  and  all  our  sufferings  for  his 
name.  [2.]  He  gives  to  God  the  glory  of  that 
good  work  which  Shem  had  done,  and,  instead  of 
blessing  and  praising  him  that  was  the  instrument, 
he  blesses  and  praises  God  that  was  tlie  Author. 
Note,  I'he  glory  of  all  that  is  at  any  time  well  done 
I)y  ourseh  es  or  others,  must  be  humbly  and  thank- 
fully transmitted  to  God,  who  works  all  our  good 
works  in  us  and  for  us.  When  we  see  men’s  good 
works,  we  should  glorify,  not  them,  but  our  Father, 
Matt.  5.  16.  Thus  David,  in  effect,  blessed  Abigail, 
when  he  blessed  God  that  sent  her,  1 Sam.  25.  32, 
33,  for  it  is  an  honour  and  favour  to  lie  employed 
for  God,  and  used  by  him  in  doing  good.  [3.  ] He 
foresees  and  foretels,  that  God’s  gracious  dealings 
with  Shem  and  his  family,  would  be  such  as  would 
evidence  to  all  the  world  that  he  was  the  God  of 
Shem,  on  which  behalf  thanksgivings  would  by  ma- 
ny be  rendered  to  him.  Blessed  be  the  Lord  God  of 
Shem.  [4.  ] It  is  intimated  that  the  church  should 
be  built  up  and  continued  in  thepcsterity  of  Shem; 
for  of  him  came  the  Jews,  who  were,  for  a great 
while,  the  only  professing  people  God  had  in  the 
world.  [5.  ] Some  think  reference  is  here  had  to 
Christ,  who  was  the  Lord  God  that  in  his  human 
nature,  should  descend  from  the  loins  of  Shem ; for 
of  him,  as  concerning  the  ffesh,  Christ  came.  [6.] 
Canaan  is  particularly  enslaved  to  him;  He  shall 
be  his  sn'vant.  Note,  Those  that  have  the  Lord 
for  their  God,  shall  have  as  much  of  the  honour 
and  power  of  this  world  as  he  sees  good  for  them. 

(2.)  He  Iffesses  Japheth,  and,  in  him,  the  isles  of 
the  Gentiles,  which  were  peopled  !)y  his  seed,  v.  27, 
God  shall  enlarge  Jafiheth,  and  he  will  dwell  in  the 
tents  of  Shem.  Now, 

[1.  ] Some  make  this  to  belong  wholly  to  Japheth, 
and  to  bespeak  either.  First,  His  outward  jn-os- 
perity,  that  his  seed  should  be  so  numerous,  and  so 
victorious,  that  they  should  be  masters  of  the  tents  of 
Shem;  which  was  fulfilled,  when  the  jjeople  of  tlie 
Jews,  the  most  eminent  of  Shem’srace,  were  tribu- 
taries to  the  Grecians  first,  and  afterward  to  the 
Romans,  both  of  Japheth’s  seed._  Note,  Outward 
prosperity  is  no  infallible  mark  ot  the  true  cluirch; 
the  tents  of  Shem  are  not  always  the  tents  of  tlie 
conqueror.  Or,  Secondly,  It  bespeaks  the  conver- 
sion of  the  Gentiles,  and  the  bringing  of  them  into  the 
church;  and  then  we  would  read  it,  God  shall  /ler- 
suade  Jafiheth,  (for  so  the  word  signifies,)  and  then, 
being  so  persuaded,  he  shall  dwell  in  the  tents  of 
Shem,  that  is,  Jews  and  Gentiles  shall  be  united  to- 
gether in  the  gospel-fold;  after  many  ot  the  Gen- 
tiles shall  have  been  proselyted  to  the  Jewisli  reli- 
gion, both  shall  be  one  in  Christ,  Kph.  2.  14, 
•15.  And  the  Christian  church,  mostlv  made  up  of 
the  Gentiles,  shall  succeed  the  Jews  in  the  privi- 
leges of  church-membership;  the  latter  h iving  fii’st 
cast  themselves  ( ait  by  their  unbelief,  the  Gentiles 
shall  dwell  in  their  tents,  Rom.  11.  11,  &c.  Note, 

It  is  God  only  that  can  bring  those  again  into  the 
church,  who  have  seji.irated  themselves  from  it.  It 
is  the  ])Ower  of  God  that  makes  the  gosjiel  of  Christ 
effectual  to  s Ivation,  Rom.  1.  16.  And  again.  Souls 
arc  brought  into  the  church,  not  by  force,  but  by 
persuasion,  Ps.  110.  3.  They  are  drawn  by  the 
cords  of  :i  man,  and  persuaded  by  reason  to  be  re- 
ligicais. 

[ .]  Others  divide  this  between  Japheth  and 


Shem,  Shem  having  not  been  directly  blessed,  v, 
26.  Jirst,  Japheth  has  the  blessing  of  earth  be- 
neath; God  shall  enlarge  Jujiheth,  enh.rge  his  seed, 
enlarge  his  border;  Japheth’s  posterity  peopled  all 
Europe,  a great  part  of  Asia,  and  perhaps  America. 
Note,  God  IS  to  be  acknowledged  in  ail  our  enlarge- 
ments. It  is  he  that  enlarges  the  coast,  and  enlarges 
the  heart.  And  again.  Many  dwell  in  large  tents, 
that  do  not  dwell  in  God’s  tents,  as  Japheth  did. 
Seco?idly,  Shem  has  the  blessing  of  Heaven  abot  e: 
He  shall,  tiiat  is,  God  shall,  dwell  in  the  tents  oj 
Shem,  that  is,  “ From  his  loins  Christ  shall  come, 
and  in  his  seed  the  church  shall  be  continued.'^  The 
birth-right  was  now  to  be  divided  between  Shem 
and  Japheth,  Ham  being  utterlv  discarded;  in  the 
principality  they  equally  share,  Canaan  shall  be  ser- 
vant to  both;  the  double  portion  is  given  to  Japheth, 
whom  God  shall  enlarge;  but  the  priesthood  was 
given  to  Shem,  for  God  shall  dwell  in  the  tents  oj 
Shem  : and  certainly  we  are  more  happy,  if  we  have 
God  dwelling  in  our  tents,  than  if  we  had  there  all 
the  silver  and  gold  in  the  world.  It  is  better  to 
dwell  m tents  with  God  than  in  palaces  without 
him;  in  Salem,  where  is  God’s  tabernacle,  there  is 
more  satisfaction  than  in  all  the  is/r.,  of  the  Gentiles. 
Thirdly,  They  both  have  dominion  over  Canaan; 
Canaan  shall  be  servant  to  them  ; so  some  read  it. 
When  Japheth  joins  with  Shem,  Canaan  falls  before 
them  both.  M hen  strangers  become  friends,  ene- 
mies become  servants. 

28.  And  Noah  lived  after  tlie  Hood  tliree 
hundred  and  fifty  years.  29.  And  all  the 
days  of  Noah  were  nine  hundred  and  fifty 
years : and  he  died. 

Here  see,  1.  How  God  prolonged  the  life  of  Noah; 
he  lived  950  years;  20  more  than  Adam,  and  but  19 
less  than  Methuselah;  this  long  life  was  a further 
reward  of  his  signal  piety,  and  a great  blessing  to  the 
world,  to  which,  no  doubt,  he  continued  a preacher 
of  righteousness,  with  this  advantage,  that  now  all 
lie  preached  to,  were  his  own  children.  2.  How  God 
put  a period  to  his  life  at  last;  though  he  lived  long, 
yet  he  died,  having,  probably,  first  seen  many  that 
descended  from  him,  dead  before  him.  Noah  lived 
to  see  two  worlds,  but  being  an  heir  of  the  righteous- 
ness which  is  by  faith,  when  he  died,  he  went  to  see 
a better  than  either. 

CHAP.  X. 

This  chapter  shows  more  particularly  what  was  said  in 
general,  eh.  9.  19,  concerning  the  three  sons  of  Noah, 
that  oj  them  loas  the  lohole  earth  overspread ; and  the  fruit 
of  that  blessing,  ch.  9.  1,7.  replenish  the  earth.  It  is  the 
only  certain  account  extant  of  the  original  of  nations; 
and  yet  perhaps  there  is  no  nation  but  that  of  the  Jews, 
that  can  be  confident  from  which  of  these  70  fountains 
(for  so  many  there  are  here)  it  derives  its  streams. 
Through  the  want  of  early  records,  the  mixtures  of  peo- 
ple, the  revolutions  of  nations,  and  distance  of  time — the 
knowledge  of  the  lineal  descent  of  the  present  inhabitants 
of  the  earth  is  lost ; nor  were  any  genealogies  preserved 
but  those  of  the  Jews,  for  the  sake  of  the  Messiah  ; only 
in  this  chapter,  we  have  a brief  account,  I.  Of  the  pos- 
terity of  Japheth,  v.  2 . - 5.  II.  The  posterity  of  Ham, 

V.  6 . . 20.  and  in  that  particular  notice  taken  of  Nim- 
rod, v.  8 . . 10.  III.  The  posterity  of  .Shem,  v.  21 . . 31. 

1.  these  are  tlie  generations  of  the 

Jl_n  sons  of  Noah;  Shem,  Ham,  and 
.Fapheth:  and  unto  them  were  sons  born  af- 
ter the  Hood.  2.  The  sons  of  .lapheth  ; Go- 
mer,  and  Magog,  and  Madai,  and  .Tavan, 
and  Tnbal,  and  Mesliceh,  and  Tiras.  3. 
And  the  sons  of  Gomer ; Ashkenaz,  and 
Kipliath,  and  Togarmah.  4.  And  the  sons 
of  Javan;  Elishah,  and  Tarshish,  Kittim, 


79 


gp:nesis,  X. 


and  Do  lanim.  5.  By  these  were  the  isles  i 
of  the  Gentiles  divided  in  their  lands  ; every 
one  after  his  tongue,  after  tlieir  families,  in 
their  nations. 

Moses  begins  with  Japheth’s  family;  either  be- 
cause he  was  the  eldest,  or,  because  his  family  lay 
remotest  from  Israel,  and  had  least  concern  with  ! 
them,  at  the  time  when  Moses  wrote;  and  therefore  | 
he  mentions  that  race  very  briefly;  hastening  to  give  | 
account  of  the  posterity  ot  Ham,  who  were  Israel’s  ■ 
enemies,  and  of  Shem,  who  were  Israel’s  ancestors:  ! 
for  it  is  the  church  that  the  scrijjture  is  designed  to 
be  the  history  of,  and  of  the  nations  of  the  world, 
only  as  they  were  some  way  or  other  related  to  Is- 
rael, and  interested  in  the  aflhirs  of  Israel.  Ob- 
serve, 1.  Notice  is  t ken  that  the  sons  of  Noah  had 
sons  born  to  them  after  the  flood,  to  I'epair  and  re- 
build the  world  of  mankind  which  the  flood  had  j 
ruined.  He  that  had  killed,  now  makes  alive.  2. 
The  prosperity  of  Japheth  were  allotted  to  the  isles 
ct  the  Gentiles,  (ra  5. ) Avhich  were,  solemnly,  by 
lot,  after  a survey,  divided  among  them,  and,  pro- 
bably, this  island  cf  our’s  among  the  rest;  all  places 
beyond  the  sea  from  Judea,  are  called  in/es,  Jer.  25. 
22.  and  this  directs  us  to  understand  that  promise, 
Isa.  42.  4,  the  !>iies  shall  wait  for  his  law,  of  the  con- 
version of  the  Gentiles  to  the  faith  of  Christ. 

6.  And  the  sons  of  Ham  ; Cush,  and 
Mizraim,  and  Phut,  and  Canaan.  7.  And 
the  sons  of  Cush  ; Sel:)a,  and  Havilah,  and 
Sabtah,  and  Raamah,  and  Sabtecha : and 
the  sons  of  Raamah  ; ^hebah,  and  Dedan.  | 
8.  And  Cush  begat  Ximrod  : he  began  to 
be  a mighty  one  in  the  earth.  9.  He  was  a 
mighty  hunter  before  the  I jOUD  : wherefore 
it  is  said.  Even  as  Nimrod  the  miglity  hun- 
ter before  the  Lord.  10.  And  the  begin- 
ning of  his  kingdom  was  Babel,  and  Erech, 
and  Accad,  and  Ca;neh,in  the  land  of  Shi- 
nar.  1 1 . Out  of  that  land  went  forth 
Asshur,  and  builded  Nineveh,  and  the  city 
Rehoboth,  and  Calah,  12.  And  Resen  be- 
tween Nineveh  and  Calah ; the  same  is  a , 
great  city.  13.  And  Mizraim  begat  Lu-  . 
dim,  and  Anamim,  and  Lehabim,  and 
Naphtuhim,  14.  And  Pathrusim,  and  Cas- 
luhim,  (out  of  wliom  came  Philistim,)  and 
Caphlorim. 

That  which  is  observable  and  improvalile  in  these 
verses,  is,  the  account  here  gi\'en  of  A^imrod,  v. 

8.  .11.  He  is  here  represented  as  a great  man  in 
his  day.  He  beifan  to  he  a mighty  one  in  the  earth, 
that  is,  whereas  those  that  went  before  him,  were 
content  to  stamd  upon  the  same  level  with  their  neigh- 
bours, and  though  every  man  bare  rule  in  his  otvn  ' 
house,  yet  no  man  pretended  any  further;  Nimrod’s 
aspiring  mind  could  not  rest  here  ; he  was  resolved 
to  tower  above  his  neighbours,  and  not  only  so,  but 
to  lord  it  over  them.  The  same  spirit  that  actuat- 
ed the  giants  befoi-ethe  flood,  (who  became  mighty 
men,  and  men  of  renown,  eh.  6.  4.)  now  revived  in  ' 
him;  so  soon  was  that  tremendous  judgment  tvhich 
the  pride  and  tyranny  of  those  mighty  men  brought  i 
upon  the  Avorld,  forgotten;  Note,  there  are  some,  I 
in  Avhom  ambition  and  affectation  of  dominion  seem  I 
to  be  bred  in  the  bone  ; such  there  have  been,  and  j 
will  be,  notwithstanding  the  wrath  of  God  often  re- 
A'ealed  from  heaven  against  them.  Nothing  on  this 
side  hell,  will  humble  and  break  the  proud  spirits  of  I 


i|  some  men,  in  this,  like  Lucifer,  Isa.  14.  14,  15.  Now, 

1 1.  Nimrod  was  a great  hxniter ; this  he  began 

' Avith,  and  for  this,  became  famous  to  a proA’erb. 
Ea  ery  great  hunter  is,  in  remembrance  of  him,  call- 
ed a roc/.  1.  Some  think  he  did  good  Avith  his 
hunting,  ser\  ed  his  country  by  ridding  it  of  the  Avild 
be  sts  Avhich  infested  it,  and  so  insinuated  himself 
j into  the  affections  of  his  neighbours,  and  got  to  be 
then-  piince  : those  that  exercise  authority,  either 
j are,  or  at  least,  Avou’.d  be  called,  benefactors,  Luke 
'■  22.  25.  2.  Othe’ s think  that  under  pretence  of 

; hunt  ng,  he  g ti'.eied  men  under  his  command,  in 
piusu  t of  anoth  er  game  he  had  to  play,  Avhich  Avas 
to  ni  ke  hin:se’f  m ster  of  the  country,  and  to  bring 
them  into  subjection.  He  Avas  a mighty  hunter,  that 
is,  He  Av  s a violent  invader  of  his  neighbour’s 
riglils  i nd  propert  es,  rmd  a pei secutor  of  innocent 
men,  c in  y.ng  all  befoi  e him,  and  endeavouring  to 
uiakc  all  his  OAvn  by  force  and  violence.  He  thought 
himself  mighty  prince,  but  before  the  Lord,  that 

1. s  in  God’s  account,  he  Avas  but  a mighty  hunter. 
Note,  Gre  .t  conquerors  are  but  great  hunters. 
Alex  nder  ; nd  Cesar  Avould  not  make  such  a figure 
:n  scripture  history  as  they  do  in  common  history; 
the  formei’  is  represented  in  prophecy  but  as  a he- 
go  t,push;ng,  Dan.  8.  5.  Nimrod  was  a mighty  hun- 
ter a §-<7/?;sahe  Lord,  sotheLXX;thatis,(_l.)  Heset 
up  idolatry,  as  Jeroboam  did,  for  tlie  confirming  of 
his  usurped  dominion:  that  he  might  set  iip  a neAV 
government,  he  set  up  a neAv  religion  upon  the  ruin 
of  the  primitive  const  tution  of  both:  Babel  was  the 
mother  of  harlots.  Or,  (2.)  He  carried  on  his  op- 
pression and  violence,  in  defiance  of  God  himself; 
d iring  Heaven  with  his  impieties,  as  if  he  and  his 
huntsmen  could  outbrave  the  Almighty,  and  Avere  a 
match  for  the  Lord  of  Hosts  and  all  his  armies:  As 
if  it  were  a small  thing  to  weary  men,  he  thinks  to 
weary  my  God  also,  Isa.  7.  13. 

II.  Nimrod  was  a great  ruler,  v.  10,  The  begin- 
ning  of  his  kingdom  tvas  Babel.  Some  way  or 
other,  by  arts  or  arms,  he  got  into  poAver,  either 
chosen  to  it,  or  forcing  his  way  to  it;  and  so  laid  the 
foundations  of  a monarchy,  Avhich  Avas  afterAvard  a 
head  of  gold,  and  the  terror  of  the  mighty,  and  bid 
fair  to  be  universal.  It  does  not  appear  that  he  had 
any  right  to  rule  by  birth;  but  either  his  fitness  for 
government  recommended  him,  as  some  think,  to 
an  election;  or,  by  poAver  and  policy,  he  adA-anced 
gradually,  and  perhaps  insensibly,  into  the  throne. 
See  the  antiquity  of  civil  government,  and  particu- 
larly that  form  of  it,  Avhich  lodges  the  so\  ereignty  in 
a single  person.  If  Nimrod  and  his  neighbours  be- 
gan, other  nations  soon  learned,  to  incorpon  te  under 
one  head  for  their  common  safety  and  Avelfare, 
which,  hoAveverit  began,  proved  so 'great  a blessing 
to  the  Avorld,  that  things  Avere  reckoned  to  go  ill  in- 
deed Avhen  there  was  no  king  in  Israel. 

III.  Nimrod  Avas  a great  builder ; probably  he 
Avas  architect  in  the  building  of  Babel,  and  there  he 
began  his  kingdom;  but  Avhen  his  piT'ject  to  rule  all 
the  sons  of  Noah  Avas  baffled  by  the  confusion  of 
tongues,  out  of  that  land  he  went  forth  into  Assyria 
(so  the  margin  reads  it,  v.  11.)  and  built  A^ineveh, 
See.  that  having  built  these  cities,  he  might  com- 
mand them,  and  rule  over  them.  ObserA  e in  Nim- 
rod the  nature  of  ambition:  1.  It  is  boundless; 
much  Avould  haA  e more,  and  still  cries,  Give,  give. 

2.  It  is  restless  ; Nimrod,  Avhen  he  had  four  cities  un- 
der his  command,  could  not  be  content  till  he  had 
four  more.  3.  It  is  expensive  ; Nimrod  Avill  rather 
be  at  the  charge  of  rearing  cities  than  not  have  the 
honour  of  rulmg  them.  The  spirit  of  building  is 
the  common  effect  of  a spirit  of  pride.  4.  It  is  da- 
ring, and  Avill  stick  at  nothing;  Nimrod’s  name  sig- 
nifies rebellion, -which,  (if  indeed  he  did  abuse  hispoAv- 
er  to  the  oppression  of  his  neighbours)  teaches  us 


80 


GENESIS,  X. 


that  tyrants  to  men  are  rebels  to  God,  and  their  re- 
bellion is  as  the  sin  of  witchcraft. 

15.  And  Canaan  begat  Sidon  his  first- 
born, and  Heth,  16.  And  the  Jebiisite, 
and  the  Amorite,  and  the  Girgashite,  1 7. 
And  the  Hivite,  and  the  Arkile,  and  the 
Sinite,  1 8.  And  the  Arvadite,  and  the  Ze- 
marite,  and  the  Hamathite  : and  afterward 
v/ere  the  families  of  the  Canaanites  spread 
abroad.  1 9 And  the  border  of  the  Canaan- 
ites was  from  Sidon,  as  thou  comest  to  Ge- 
rar,  unto  Gaza  ; as  thou  goest  unto  Sodom 
and  Gomorrah,  and  Admah,  and  Zeboim, 
and  even  unto  Lasha.  20.  These  are  the 
sons  of  Ham,  after  their  families,  after  their 
tongues, in  their  countries,  and  in  their  nations. 

Observe  here,  1.  That  the  account  of  the  pos- 
terity of  Canaan,  of  the  families  and  nations  that 
descended  from  him,  and  of  the  land  they  possessed, 
is  more  particular  than  of  any  other  in  this  chapter; 
because  these  were  the  nations  that  were  to  be  sub- 
dued before  Israel,  and  their  land  was,  in  process  of 
time,  to  become  the  Ao/y  land,  Immanuel's  land; 
and  this  God  had  an  eye  to,  when,  in  the  mean  time 
he  cast  the  lot  of  that  accursed  devoted  race  in  that 
spot  of  ground  which  he  had  spied  out  for  his  own 
people;  this  Moses  takes  notice  of,  Deut.  32.  8, 
When  the  most  hieh  divided  to  the  nations  their  in- 
heritance, he  set  the  bounds  of  the  peofile  according 
to  the  number  of  the  children  of  Israel.  2.  That  by 
this  account  it  appears  that  the  posterity  of  Canaan 
were  both  numerous  and  rich,  and  very  pleasantly 
seated;  and  yet  Canaan  was  under  a curse,  a divine 
curse,  and  not  a curse  causeless.  Note,  Those 
that  are  under  the  curse  of  God,  may  yet  perhaps 
thrive  and  prosper  greatly  in  this  world;  for  we 
cannot  know  love  or  hatred,  the  blessing  or  the 
curse,  by  what  is  before  us,  but  by  what  is  within  us, 
Eccl.  9.  1.  The  curse  of  God  always  works  really, 
and  always  terribly:  but  perhaps  it  is  a secret  curse, 
a curse  to  the  soul,  and  does  not  work  visibly;  or  a 
slow  curse,  and  does  not  work  immediately ; but  sin- 
ners are  by  it  reserved  for,  and  bound  over  to,  a day 
of  wrath.  Canaan  here  has  a better  land  than 
either  Shem  or  Japheth,  and  yet  they  have  a better 
lot,  for  they  inherit  the  blessing. 

21.  Unto  Shem  also,  the  father  of  all  the 
children  of  Eber,  the  brother  of  Japheth  the 
elder,  even  to  him  were  children  born.  22. 
The  children  of  Shem  ; Elam  and  Asshnr, 
and  Arphaxad,  and  Lud,  and  Aram.  23. 
And  the  children  of  Aram  ; Uz,  and  Hul, 
and  Gether,  and  Mash.  24.  And  Arphax- 
ad begat  Salah ; and  Salah  begat  Eber. 
25.  And  unto  Eber  were  born  two  sons; 
the  name  of  one  was  Peleg;  for  in  his  days 
was  the  earth  divided;  and  his  brother’s 
name  was  Joktan.  26.  And  .Toktan  begat 
Almodad,  and  Sheleph,  and  Hazarmaveth, 
and  Jerah,  27.  And  Hadoram,  and  Uzal, 
and  Diklah,  28.  And  Obal,  and  Abimael, 
and  Sheba,  29.  And  Ophir,  and  Havilah, 
and  Jobab : all  these  loere  the  sons  of  Jok- 
tan. 30.  And  their  dwelling  was  from 
Mesha,  as  thou  goest  unto  Sepher  a mount 
of  the  east.  31.  These  are  the  sons  of 


i Shem,  after  their  families,  after  their  tongues, 

I in  their  lands,  after  their  nations.  32.  These 
^ are  the  families  of  the  sons  of  Noah,  after 
their  generations,  in  their  nations : and  by 
these  were  the  nations  divided  in  the  earth 
after  the  flood. 

' Two  things  especially  are  observable  in  this  ac- 
count of  the  posterity  of  Shem. 

I.  The  description  of  Shem,  t».  21.  We  have 
not  only  his  name,  Shem,  which  signifies  a name, 
but  two’  titles  to  distinguish  him  by. 

1.  He  was  the  father  of  all  the  childreri  of  Eber: 
Eber  was  his  great-grandson;  but  why  should  he  be 

I called  the  father  of  all  his  children,  rather  than  of 
I all  Arphaxad’s,  or  Salah’s,  isfe.?  Probably,  be- 
cause Abraham  and  his  seed,  God’s  covenant-peo- 
I pie,  not  only  descended  from  Heber,  but  from  him 
! were  called  Hebrews,  ch.  14.  13,  Abram  the  He- 
brew. St.  Paul  looked  upon  it  as  his  privilege,  that 
he  was  a Hebrew  of  the  Hebrews,  Phil.  3.  5.  Eber 
himself,  we  may  suppose,  was  a man  eminent  for 
religion  in  a time  of  general  apostasy,  and  a great 
example  of  piety  to  his  family;  and  the  holy  tongue 
being  commonly  called  from  him  the  Hebrew,  it  is 
probable  that  he  retained  it  in  his  family,  in  the  con- 
fusion of  Babel,  as  a special  token  of  God’s  favour  to 
him;  and  from  him  the  professors  of  religion  were 
called  the  children  of  Eber;  now,  when  the  inspired 
penman  would  give  them  an  honourable  title,  he 
calls  him  the  father  of  the  Hebrews;  though,  when 
Moses  wrote  this,  they  were  a poor  despised  peo- 
ple, bond-slaves  in  Egypt,  yet,  being  God’s  people. 
It  was  an  honour  to  a man  to  be  akin  to  them.  As 
Ham,  though  he  had  many  sons,  is  disowned  by 
being  called  the  father  of  Canaan,  on  whose  seed 
the  curse  was  entailed,  ch.  9.  22,  so  Shem,  though 
he  had  many  sons,  is  dignified  with  the  title  of  the 
father  of  Eber,  cn  whose  seed  the  blessing  was  en- 
tailed. Note,  A family  of  saints  is  more  truly 
honourable  than  a family  of  nobles;  Shem’s  holy 
seed  than  Ham’s  royal  seed,  Jacob’s  twelve  patri- 
archs than  Ishmael’s  twelve  princes,  ch.  17.  20. 
Goodness  is  true  greatness. 

2.  He  was  the  brother  of  Japheth  the  elder,  h\ 
which  it  appears  that  though  Shem  is  commonly 
put  first,  yet  he  was  not  Noah’s  first-born,  but 
Japheth  was  older.  But  why  should  this  also  be  put 
as  part  of  Shem’s  title  and  description,  that  he  was 
the  brother  of  Japheth,  since  that  had  been,  in 
effect,  said  often  before?  And  was  he  not  as  much 
brother  to  Ham?  Probably,  this  was  intended  to 
signify  the  union  of  the  Gentiles  with  the  Jews  in 
the  church.  He  had  mentioned  it  as  Shem’s 
honour,  that  he  was  the  father  of  the  Hebrews;  but 
lest  Japheth’s  seed  should  therefore  be  looked  upon 
as  for  ever  shut  out  from  the  church,  he  here  re- 

i minds  us  that  he  was  the  brother  of  Japheth,  net  in 
' birth  only,  but  in  blessing,  for  Japheth  was  to  dwell 
‘ in  the  tents  o f Shem.  Note,  (1.)  Those  are  brethren 
i in  the  best  manner,  that  are  so  bv  grace,  and  that 
meet  in  the  covenant  of  God,  and  in  the  communion 
[ of  saints.  (2.)  God,  in  dispensing  his  grace,  does 
' not  go  by  seniority,  but  the  younger  sometimes  gets 
the  start  of  the  elder  in  coming  into  the  church;  so 
the  last  shall  be  frst,  and  the  first  last. 

II.  The  reason  of  the  name  of  Peleg,  25,  be- 
cause in  his  days,  (that  is  about  the  time  of  his 
birth,  when  his  name  was  given  him,)  was  the  earth 
dtvidfd  among  the  children  of  men  that  were  to  in- 
I habit  it;  either,  when  Noah  divided  it  by  an  orderly 
distribution  of  it,  as  Joshua  divided  the  land  of  Ca- 
naan by  lot,  or  when,  u])on  their  refusal  to  comply 
with  that  division,  God,  in  justice,  divided  them  by 
the  confusion  of  tongues;  whichsoever  of  these  was 
the  occasion,  pious  Heber  saw  cause  to  perpetuate 


81 


GENESIS,  XI. 


the  lemembrance  of  it  in  the  name  of  his  son;  and  | 
justly  may  our  sons  be  called  by  the  same  name,  for  i 
in  our  days,  in  another  sense,  is  the  earth,  the  | 
church,  most  wretchedly  divided. 

CHAP.  XL 

The  old  distinction  between  the  sons  of  God,  and  the  sons 
of  men,  (professors  and  profane,)  survived  the  flood, 
and  now  appeared  again,  when  men  began  to  nuilhplv  : 
according  to  this  distinction,  we  have,  in  this  chapter,  1. 
The  dispersion  of  the  sons  of  men  at  Babel,  v.  1..9, 
where  we  have,  1.  Their  presumptuous  provoking  design, 
which  was,  to  build  a city  and  a tower,  v.  1.  .4.  2.  The 

righteous'  judgment  of  God  upon  them  in  disappointing 
their  design,  oy  confounding  their  language,  and  so 
scattering  them,  v.  5.  .9.  II.  The  pedigree  of  the  sons 
of  Gcd  down  to  Abraham,  v.  10.  .26,  with  a general 
account  of  his  family,  and  removal  out  of  his  native 
country,  v.  27.  .32. 

1.  4 ND  the  whole  earth  was  of  one  lan- 
J\.  guage,  and  of  one  speech.  2.  And 
it  came  to  pass,  as  they  journeyed  from  the 
east,  that  they  found  a plain  in  the  land  of 
Shinar  and  they  dwelt  there.  3.  And  they 
said  one  to  another,  Go  to,  let  us  make 
brick,  and  burn  them  thoroughly.  And  they 
had  brick  for  stone,  and  slime  had  they  for 
mortar.  4.  And  they  said.  Go  to,  let  us 
build  us  a city  and  a tower,  whose  top  may 
reach  unto  heaven ; and  let  us  make  us  a 
name,  lest  we  be  scattered  abroad  upon  the 
face  of  the  whole  earth. 

The  close  of  the  foregoing  chapter  tells  us,  that 
by  the  sons  of  Noah,  or,  among  the  sons  of  Noah, 
the  nations  were  divided  in  the  earth  after  the  flood, 
that  is,  were  disting-uished  into  several  tribes  or 
colonies;  and  the  places  they  had  hitheiAo  lived  in 
together  being  grown  too  straight  for  them,  it  was 
either  appointed  by  Noah,  or  agreed  upon  among 
his  sons,  which  way  each  several  tribe  or  colony 
should  steer  its  course,  beginning  with  the  counti-ies 
that  were  next  them,  and  designing  to  proceed 
further  and  further,  and  to  remove  to  a greater 
distance  from  each  other,  as  the  increase  of  their 
several  companies  should  require.  Thus  was  the 
matter  well  settled,  one  hundred  years  after  the 
flood,  about  the  time  of  Peleg’s  birth:  but  the  sons 
of  men,  it  should  seem,  were  loath  to  scatter  into 
distant  places;  they  thought,  the  more  the  merrier, 
and  the  safer,  and  therefore  they  contrived  to  keep 
together,  and  were  slack  to  go  to  possess  the  land 
which  the  Lord  God  of  their  fathers  had  gh'en 
them.  Josh.  18.  3,  thinking  themselves  wiser  than 
either  God  or  Noah.  .Now  here  we  have, 

I.  The  advantages  which  befriended  their  design 
of  keeping  together.  1.  They  were  all  of  one 
language,  v,  1.  If  there  were  any  different  lan- 
^lages  before  the  flood,  yet  Noah’s  only,  which,  it 
is  likely,  was  the  same  with  Adam’s,  was  preserved 
through  the  flood,  and  continued  after  it.  Now, 
while  they  all  understood  one  another,  they  would 
be  the  more  likely  to  love  one  another,  and  the 
more  capable  of  helping  one  another,  and  the  less 
inclinable  to  separate  one  from  another.  2.  They 
found  a very  convenient  commodious  place  to  settle 
in,  V.  2,  a plain  in  the  land  of  Shinar,  a spacious 
plain,  and  able  to  contain  them  all,  a fruitful  plain, 
and  able,  according  as  their  present  numbers  were, 
to  support  them  all;  though  perhaps  they  had  not 
considered  what  room  there  would  be  for  them 
when  their  numbers  should  be  increased.  Note, 
Inviting  accommodations,  for  the  present,  often 
prove  too  strong  temptations  to  the  neglect  of  both 
dutv  and  interest,  as  it  respects  futurity. 

VoL.  I.— L 


II.  The  method  they  took  to  bind  themselves  to 
one  an'ither,  and  to  settle  together  in  one  body. 
Inste.id  ct  coveting  to  enlarge  their  l)orders  by  a 
peaceable  departure  under  the  divine  protection, 
they  contrived  to  fortify  them,  and  as  those  that 
were  resolved  to  wage  war  with  heaven,  they  pu‘ 
themselves  into  a postui-e  of  defence.  Their  unani 
mi  us  ’’esolution  is,  let  us  build  a citij  and  a tower. 
It  is  observable,  that  the  fir.st  buildei’s  of  cities,  both 
in  the  ( Id  world,  ch.  4.  \7,  and  in  the  new  world 
here,  were  net  men  of  the  best  character  and  repu- 
t Aion:  tents  served  God’s  subjects  to  dwell  in,  cities 
were  first  built  by  those  that  were  rebels  against 
him,  and  revolters  from  him.  Observe  here, 

1.  How  they  excited  and  encouraged  one  another 
to  set  about  this  work.  They  said.  Go  t'^,  let  us 
make  brick,  v.  3,  and  again  v.  4,  Go  to,  let  us  build 
us  a city;  by  mutual  excitements  they  made  one 
another  more  daring  and  resolute.  Note,  Great 
things  may  be  brought  to  pass,  when  the  under- 
takers are  numerous  and  unanimous,  and  stir  up 
one  another  to  it.  Let  us  learn  to  provoke  one 
another  to  love  and  to  good  works,  as  sinners  stir  up 
and  encourage  one  another  to  wicked  works.  See 
Ps.  122.  1.  Isa.  2.  3,  5.  Jer.  50.  5. 

2.  W hat  materials  they  used  in  their  building. 
The  country  being  plain,  yielded  neither  stone  nor 
mortar,  yet  that  did  not  discourage  them  from  them 
undertaking,  but  they  made  brick  to  sers'e  instead 
of  stone,  and  slime  or  pitch  instead  of  mortar.  See 
here,  (1.)  W hat  shift  these  will  make,  that  are 
resolute  in  their  pur])oses;  were  we  but  thus  zea 
lously  affected  in  a good  thing,  we  should  not  stop 
our  work  so  often  as  we  do,  under  pretence  that  we 
want  conveniences  for  carrying  it  on.  (2.)  W’^hat 
a difference  there  is  between  men’s  building  and 
God’s;  when  men  build  their  Babel,  brick  and 
slime  are  their  best  materials;  but  when  God  builds 
his  Jerusalem,  he  lays  even  the  foundations  of  it 
with  sapphires,  and  all  its  borders  with  pleasant 
stones,  Isa.  54,  11.  12.  Rev.  21.  19. 

3.  For  what  ends  they  built.  Some  think  they 
intended  hereby  to  secure  themselves  against  the 
waters  of  another  flood.  God  had  told  them  indeed 
he  w'ould  not  again  drown  the  world;  but  they 
would  trust  to  a tower  of  their  own  making,  rather 
than  to  a promise  of  God’s  making,  or  an  ark  of  his 
appointing:  if,  however,  they  had  had  this  in  their 
eye,  they  would  have  chosen  to  build  their  tower 
upon  a mountain,  rather  than  upon  a plain;  but 
three  things,  it  seems,  they  aimed  at  in  building 
this  tower. 

(1.)  It  seems  designed  for  an  affront  to  Gcd  him- 
self; foi  they  would  build  a tower,  whose  top  might 
reach  to  heaven,  which  bespeaks  a defiance  of  God, 
or  at  least  a rivalship  with  him;  they  will  be  like 
the  Most  High,  or  come  as  near  him  as  they  can, 
not  in  holiness,  but  in  height.  They  forget  their 
place,  and,  scorning  to  creep  on  the  earth,  resoh  e 
to  climb  to  heaven,  net  by  the  door,  or  ladder,  but 
some  other  way. 

(2.)  They  hoped  hereby  to  make  them  a name; 
they  would  do  something  to  be  talked  of  now,  and 
to  gi\  e posterity  to  know  that  thei-e  had  been  such 
men  as  they  in  the  world;  rather  than  die  and  lea%  e 
no  memorandum  behind  them,  they  would  leave 
this  monument  of  their  pride,  and  ambition,  and 
folly.  Note,  [1.]  Affectation  of  honour,  and  a 
name  among  men,  inspires  with  a strange  ardocr 
for  great  and  difficult  undertakings,  and  often  be- 
travs  to  that  which  is  e\  il,  and  offensive  to  God. 
[2.]  It  is  just  with  God  to  bury  those  names  in  the 
dust,  which  are  raised  by  sin.  These  Babel-build- 
ers put  themselves  to  a great  deal  of  foolish  expense, 
to  make  them  a name;  but  they  could  not  gain  even 
this  point,  for  we  do  not  find  in  any  history  the  name 
of  so  much  as  one  of  these  Babel-builders;  Philo  Ju 


GENESIS.  XL 


d.cus  says,  They  engraved  eveiy  one  his  name  upon 
a brick,  in  fierpetuam  rei  mcmoriam — as  a jier- 
(letual  memorial;  yet  neither  did  that  serve  their  ; 
purpose.  I 

(3.)  They  did  it  to  prevent  their  dispersion;  lest 
we  be  scattered  abroad  upon  the  face  of  the  earth.  \ 
“It  was  done,”  (says  Josephus,)  “in  disobedience 
to  that  command,  ch.  9.  1,  Replenish  the  earth.” 
God  orders  them  to  scatter;  “No,”  say  they,  “we 
will  not,  we  will  li\  e and  die  together.  ” In  order 
hereunto,  they  engage  themseh  es,  and  one  another, 
in  this  vast  undertaking.  That  they  might  unite  in 
one  glorious  empire,  they  resolve  to  build  this  city 
and  tower,  to  be  the  metropolis  of  their  kingdom, 
and  the  centre  of  their  unity.  It  is  probable  that 
the  hand  of  ambitious  Nimrod  was  in  all  this:  he 
could  not  content  himself  with  the  command  of  a 
particular  colony,  but  aimed  at  universal  monarchy; 
in  order  to  which,  under  pretence  of  uniting  for 
their  common  safety,  he  contrives  to  keep  them  in 
one  body,  that,  having  them  all  under  his  eye,  he 
might  not  fail  to  have  them  under  his  power.  See 
the  daring  presumption  of  these  sinners:  here  is, 
[1.]  A bold  opposition  to  God;  “You  shall  be  scat- 
tered,” says  God;  “But  we  will  not,”  say  they; 
Woe  unto  him  that  thus  strives  with  his  maker.  [2.  ] 
A bold  competition  with  God.  It  is  God’s  preroga- 
tive to  be  universal  Monarch,  Lord  of  all,  and  King 
of  kings;  the  man  that  aims  at  it,  offers  to  step  into 
the  throne  of  God,  who  will  not  gi.e  his  glory  to 
another. 

5.  And  the  Lord  came  down  to  see  the 
city  and  the  tower  which  the  children  of 
men  builded.  6.  And  the  Lord  said,  Be- 
hold, the  people  u one,  and  they  have  all 
one  language ; and  this  they  begin  to  do : 
and  now  nothing  will  be  restrained  from 
them,  which  they  have  imagined  to  do.  7. 
Go  to,  let  us  go  down,  and  there  confound 
their  language,  that  they  may  not  under- 
stand one  another’s  speech.  8.  So  the 
Lord  scattered  them  abroad  from  thence 
upon  the  face  of  all  the  earth:  and  they  left 
off  to  build  the  city.  9.  Therefore  is  the  name 
of  it  called  Babel ; because  the  Lord  did 
there  confound  the  language  of  all  the 
earth : and  from  thence  did  the  Lord  scat- 
ter them  abroad  upon  the  face  of  all  the 
earth. 

We  have  here  the  quashing  of  the  project  of  the 
Babel-builders,  and  the  turning  of  the  ccunsel  of 
those  froward  men  headlong,  that  God’s  counsel 
might  stand,  in  spite  of  them.  Here  is, 

I.  The  cognizance  that  God  took  of  the  design 
that  was  on  foot,  v.  5,  The  Lord  came  down  to  see 
the  city:  it  is  an  expression  after  the  manner  of  men; 
he  knew  it  as  clearly  and  fully  as  men  know  that 
which  they  come  to  the  place  to  v iew.  Observe, 
1.  Before  he  gave  judgment  upon  their  cause,  he 
inquired  into  it;  for  God  is  incontestably  just  and 
fair  in  all  his  proceedings  against  sin  and  sinners, 
;ind  condemns  none  unheard.  2.  It  is  spoken  of  as 
an  act  of  condescension  in  God,  to  take  notice  even 
of  this  building,  which  the  undertakers  were  so 
proud  of;  for  he  humbles  himself  to  behold  the 
transactions,  even  the  most  considerable  ones,  of 
this  lower  world,  Ps.  113.  6.  3.  It  is  said  to  be  the 

tower  which  the  children  of  men  built;  which  inti- 
mates, (1.)  Their  weakness  and  frailty  as  men  : it 
v.is  a very  foolish  thing  for  the  children  of  men, 
worms  cf  the  earth,  to  defy  Heaven,  and  to  provoke 


the  Lord  to  jealousy:  jire  they  stronger  than  he? 
(2.)  Their  sinfulness  and  obnoxiousness:  they  were 
the  sons  of  Adam,  so  it  is  in  the  Hebrew;  nay,  of 
that  Adam,  that  sinful  disobedient  Adam,  whose 
children  are  by  nature  children  of  disobedience, 
children  that  are  corrupters.  (3. ) Their  distinction 
fi’om  the  children  of  God,  the  professors  of  religion, 
from  whom  these  daring  builders  had  separated 
theinsel'.  es,  and  built  this  tower  to  support  and  per- 
petuate the  separation.  Pious  Eber  is  not  found 
among  this  ungodly  crew ; for  he  and  his  are  called 
the  children  of  God,  and  therefore  their  souls  come 
not  into  the  secret,  nor  unite  themselves  to  the  as- 
sembly, of  these  children  of  men. 

II.  The  counsels  and  resolves  of  the  Eternal  God 
concerning  this  matter;  he  did  not  come  down  mere- 
ly as  a spectator,  but  as  a Judge,  as  a Prince,  to 
look  upon  these  proud  men,  and  abase  them.  Job 
40.  11...  14. 

Observe,  1.  He  suffered  them  to  proceed  a gocu 
way  in  their  enterprise,  before  he  put  a stop  to  it; 
that  they  might  have  space  to  repent,  and,  if  they 
had  so  much  consideration  left,  might  be  ashamecl 
of  it,  and  weary  of  it,  themselves;  and  if  not,  that 
their  disappointment  might  be  the  more  shameful, 
and  every  one  that  passed  by,  might  laugh  at  them, 
saying.  These  men  began  to  build,  and  were  not  able 
to  finish;  that  so  the  works  of  their  hands,  from 
which  they  promised  themselves  immortal  honcur, 
might  turn  to  their  perpetual  reproach.  Note,  God 
has  wise  and  holy  ends  in  permitting  the  enemies 
of  his  glory  to  carry  on  their  impicus  pn  jects  a 
great  way,  and  to  prosper  long  in  their  enterprises. 

2.  When  they  had,  with  much  care  and  toil, 
made  some  considerable  progress  in  their  building, 
then  God  determined  to  break  their  measures,  and 
diverse  them. 

Observe,  (1.)  The  righteousness  of  Gcd,  which 
appears  in  the  considerations  upon  which  he  pro- 
ceeded in  this  resolution,  v.  6.  Two  things  he  con- 
sidered, [1.]  'Th.eir  oneness,  as  a reason  why  they 
must  be  scattered:  “Behold,  the  people  is  one,  and 
they  have  all  one  language;  if  they  continue  one, 
much  of  the  earth  will  be  left  uninhabited;  the  pow- 
er of  their  prince  will  soon  be  exorbitant;  wicked- 
ness and  prcfaneness  will  be  insufferably  rampant, 
for  they  will  strengthen  one  another’s  hands  in  it; 
and,  which  is  worst  of  all,  they  will  be  an  overba- 
lance to  the  church,  and  these  children  of  men,  if 
thus  incorporated,  will  swallow  up  the  little  rem- 
nant of  God’s  children.”  Therefore  it  is  decreed 
that  they  must  not  be  one.  Note,  Unity  is  policy, 
but  it  is  not  the  infallible  mark  of  a true  church ; yet, 
while  the  builders  cf  Babel,  though  of  different  fa- 
milies, dispositions,  and  interests,  were  thus  unani- 
mous in  opposing  God,  what  a pity  it  is,  and  what 
a shame,  that  the  builders  of  Zion,  fliough  united 
in  one  common  Head  and  Spirit,  should  be  divided, 
as  they  are,  in  serving  God ! But  marvel  not  at  the 
matter;  Christ  came  not  to  send  peace.  [2.]  Their 
obstinacy;  now  nothing  will  be  restrained  from 
them;  and  this  is  a reason  why  they  must  be  cross- 
ed and  thwarted  in  their  design:  God  had  tried,  by 
his  commands  and  admonitions,  to  bring  them  off 
from  this  project,  but  in  vain;  thereff  re  he  must 
take  another  course  with  them.  Sec  here,  First, 
The  sinfulness  of  sin,  and  the  wilfulncss  of  sinners; 
ever  since  Adam  would  not  be  restrained  from  the 
forbidden  tree,  his  unsanctified  seed  have  been  im- 
patient of  restraint,  and  ready  to  rebel  against  it. 
Secondly,  See  the  necessity  of  God’s  judgments 
upon  earth,  to  keep  the  world  in  some  order,  and 
to  tie  the  hands  of  those  that  will  not  be  checked 
by  law. 

(2.)  The  wisdom  and  mercy  of  God  in  the  me- 
thods that  were  taken  for  the  defeating  of  this  en- 
teiqinsc;  (u  7.'  Go  to,  let  us  go  down,  and  there 


8? 


GENESIS,  XL 


confound  their  language:  this  was  not  spoken  to  the 
angels,  as  if  God  needed  either  their  advice,  or  their 
assistance,  but  God  speaks  it  to  himself,  or  the  Father 
to  the  Son  and  Holy  Ghost;  they  said.  Go  to,  let  us 
make  brick;  and  Go  to,  let  us  build  us  a tower;  ani- 
mating one  another  to  the  attempt;  and  now  God 
s lys,  Go  (0,  let  us  confound  their  languages;  f r if 
men  stir  up  themsel  > es  to  sin,  God  will  stir  up  him- 
self to  take  \engeance,  Isa.  59.  17,  18.  Now  ob- 
ser  e here,  [1.]  The  mercy  ci  (fod,  in  moderating 
the  jienalty,  and  not  making  tliat  proportionable  to 
therffence;  f;  r he  deals  not  with  us  according  to 
our  sins:  he  does  not  say,  “ Let  us  go  down  now  in 
thunder  and  lightning,  and  consume  those  rebels  in 
a moment;”  cr,  “Let  the  earth  open,  and  swallow 
up  them  and  their  building,  and  let  them  go  down 
quick  into  hell,  who  are  climbing  to  hea\  en  the 
wreng  way;”  no,  only,  “ Let  us  go  down,  imd  scat- 
ter them:”  they  deserved  death,  but  are  only  ba- 
nished or  transported;  for  the  patience  of  God  is 
very  great  towards  a provoking  world.  Punish- 
ments are  chiefly  reserved  fc  r the  future  state; 
Cfod’s  judgments  on  sinners  in  this  life,  compared 
with  these,  are  little  more  than  restraints.  [2.]  The 
wisdom  of  God,  in  pitching  upon  an  effectual  expe- 
dient to  stay  proceedings,  which  was  the  confound- 
ing of  their  language,  that  they  might  not  under- 
stand one  another’s  speech,  nor  could  they  well  join 
hands  when  their  tongues  were  div  ided;  so  that  this 
would  be  a very  proper  method,  both  for  taking 
them  off  from  their  building,  (for  if  they  could  not 
understand  one  another,  they  could  not  help  one 
another,)  as  also  for  disposing  them  to  scatter;  for 
when  they  could  not  understand  one  another,  they 
could  not  emfiloy  one  another.  Note,  God  has  va- 
rious means,  and  effectual  ones,  to  baffle  and  defeat 
the  projects  of  proud  men  that  set  themselves 
hg.finst  him,  and  particularly  to  divide  them  among 
th.  mselves,  either  by  dividing  spirits,  (Judges 
9.  23.)  or  by  dividing  their  tongues,  as  David  prays, 
Ps.  55.  9. 

III.  The  execution  of  these  counsels  of  God,  to 
the  Ivlasting  and  defeating  of  the  counsels  of  men,  v. 
8,  9.  God  made  them  know  whose  word  should 
stand,  bis  or  them’s,  as  the  expression  is,  Jer.  44.  28. 
Notwithstanding  their  oneness  and  obstinacy,  Gcd 
was  too  hard  fir  them,  and  wherein  thev  dealt 
proudly,  he  was  above  them;  for  who  ever  hardened 
his  heart  against  him  and  prospered?  Three  things 
were  done; 

1.  Their  language  was  confounded.  God,  who, 
when  he  made  man,  taught  him  to  speak,  and  put 
words  into  his  mouth  fit  to  express  the  conceptions 
of  his  mind  by,  now  made  those  builders  to  forget 
Lheir  former  language,  and  to  speak  and  understand 
a new  one,  which  yet  was  the  same  to  those  of  the 
s'.me  tribe  or  family,  but  not  to  others;  those  of  one 
colony  could  converse  together,  but  not  with  those 
of  another.  Now,  (1.)  This  was  a great  miracle, 
and  a proof  of  the  power  which  God  has  upon  the 
minds  and  tongues  of  men,  which  he  turns  as  the 
rivers  of  water.  (2.)  This  was  a great  judgment 
upon  those  builders;  for  being  thus  deprived  of  the 
knowledge  of  the  ancient  and  holy  tongue,  they 
were  become  incapable  of  communicating  with  the 
I rue  church,  in  which  it  was  retained;  and,  proba- 
bly, it  contributed  much  to  their  loss  of  the  know- 
ledge of  the  true  God.  (3.)  We  all  suffer  by  it,  to 
this  day:  in  all  the  inconveniences  we  sustain  by  the 
iliversity  of  langi.iages,  and  all  the  pains  and  trouble 
we  arc  at  to  learn  the  languages  we  have  occasion  for, 
wesmart  for  the  rebellion  of  cur  ancestors  at  Babel. 
Nay,  and  those  unhappy  controversies,  which  arc 
strifes  of  words,  and  arise  from  our  misunderstand- 
ing of  one  another’s  language,  for  aught  I know,  arc 
owing  to  this  confusion  of  tongues.  (4.)  The  pro- 
ject of  some  to  frame  an  universal  character,  in  or- 


der to  an  universal  language,  how  desirable  scevei 
it  may  seem,  is  yet,  I think,  but  a vain  attempt;  for 
it  is  to  strive  against  a divine  sentence,  by  which 
the  languages  cf  the  nations  will  be  divided  while 
the  world  stands.  (5.)  W'e  may  here  lament  the 
loss  cf  the  universal  use  of  the  Hebrew  tongue, 
which,  from  this  time,  was  the  vulgar  language  of 
the  Hebrews  t nly,  and  continued  so  till  the  capti- 
vity in  Babylon,  where,  even  among  them,  it  was 
exchanged  for  the  Syriac.  (6.)  As  the  confound- 
ing cf  tongues  divided  the  children  of  men,  and 
scattered  them  abroad,  so  the  gift  cl  tongues,  be- 
stowed upon  the  apostles,  (Acts  2.)  contributed 
greatly  to  the  gathering  together  of  the  children  cf 
Gcd,  which  were  scr.ttcred  abroad,  and  the  uniting 
of  them  in  Christ,  that  with  one  mind  imd  mouth 
they  might  glorify  G-cd,  Rom.  15.  6. 

2.  Their  building  was  stopped;  they  left  of  to 
build  the  city.  This  was  the  effect  of  the  confusion 
of  their  tongues;  for  it  not  only  incapacitated  them 
for  helping  one  another,  but,  probably,  struck  such 
a damp  upon  their  spirits,  that  they  could  not  pro- 
ceed, since  they  saw,  in  this,  the  hand  of  the  Lord 
gone  out  against  them.  Note,  [1.]  It  is  wisdom  to 
leave  off  that  which  we  see  God  fights  against. 
[2.]  God  is  able  to  blast  and  bring  to  naught  all 
the  devices  and  designs  of  Babel-builders.  He  sits 
in  hea'  en,  and  laughs  at  the  counsels  of  the  kings 
of  the  earth  against  Him  and  his  Anointed;  and 
will  force  them  to  confess  that  there  is  no  wisd'^m 
norcfunsel  against  the  Lord,  Prov.  21.  30.  Isa. 
8.  9,  10. 

3.  The  builders  were  scattered  abroad  frem 

thence  upon  the  face  of  the  whole  earth,  v.  8,  9. 
They  departed  in  companies,  after  their  families, 
and  after  their  tongues,  {ch.  10.  5,  20,  31.)  to  the 
several  countries  and  places  allotted  to  them  in  the 
division  that  had  been  made,  which  they  knew  be- 
fore, but  would  not  go  to  take  the  possession  of  till 
now  that  they  were  forced  to  it.  Oliserve  here, 
[1.]  That  the  veiw  thing  which  they  feared,  came 
upon  them ; they  feared  dispersion,  they  sought  to 
evade  it  by  an  act  of  rebellion,  and  by  that  act  they 
brought  upon  themselves  the  evil  with  all  its  hor- 
rors; fer  we  are  most  likely  to  fall  into  that  trouble 
which  we  seek  to  evade  by  indirect  and  sinful  me- 
thods. [2.]  That  it  was  God’s  work;  The  Lord 
scattered  them.  Ged’s  hand  is  to  be  acknowledged 
in  all  scattering  providences;  if  the  family  be  scat- 
tered, relations  scattered,  churches  scattered,  it  is 
the  Lord’s  doing.  [3.]  That  though  they  were  as 
firmly  in  league  with  one  another  as  could  be,  yet 
the  Lord  scattered  them : for  no  man  can  keep  to 
gether  what  Gcd  will  put  asunder.  [4.  ] That  thus 
God  justly  took  vengeance  on  them  for  their  one 
ness  in  that  presumptuous  attempt  to  build  theii 
tower;  shameful  dispersions  are  the  just  punish 
ment  of  sinful  unions;  Simeon  and  Levi,  who  had 
been  brethren  in  iniquity,  were  divided  in  Jacob, 
ch.  49.  5,  7.  Ps.  83.  3...  13.  [5.]  That  they  left  be- 

hind them  a pei'petual  memorandum  of  their  re- 
proach, in  the  name  given  to  the  place;  it  was 
called  Babel,  confusion.  They  that  aim  at  a great 
name,  commonly  come  off  with  a bad  name.  [6.] 
The  children  of  men  were  now  finally  scattered, 
and  never  did,  nor  ever  will,  come  all  together 
again,  till  the  great  day,  when  the  Son  cf  man  shall 
sit  upon  the  throne  of  his  gloT'V,  and  all  nations 
shall  be  gathered  before  him,  IVfatth.  25.  31,  32. 

10.  These  arc,  the  generations  of  Shem  : 
Shem  teat;  ati  hundred  years  old,  and  begat 
Aiphaxad,  two  years  after  the  flood  : 11. 

And  Shem  lived  after  he  begat  Arphaxad, 
five  hundred  years,  and  begat  sons  and 
daughters.  12.  And  Arphaxad  lived  five 


84 


GENESIS,  XL 


ami  thirty  years,  and  begat  Salah : 1 3.  And 
Aiphaxad  lived  after  he  begat  Salah,  four 
hundred  and  three  years,  and  begat  sons 
and  daughters.  14.  And  Salah  lived  thirty 
years,  and  begat  Eber : 15.  And  Salah  lived 
after  he  begat  Eber,  four  hundred  and  three 
years,  and  begat  sons  and  daughters.  16. 
And  Eber  lived  four  and  thirty  5’ears,  and 
begat  Peleg:  17.  And  Eber  lived  after  he 
begat  Peleg,  four  hundred  and  thirty  years, 
and  begat  sons  and  daughters.  18. A nd 
Peleg  lived  thirty  years,  and  begat  lieu : 
19.  And  Peleg  lived  after  he  begat  Reu, 
two  hundred  and  nine  years,  and  begat  sons 
and  daughters.  20.  And  lieu  lived  two 
and  thirty  years,  and  l)egat  Serug : 21. 

And  Reu  lived  after  he  begat  Serug,  two 
hundred  and  seven  years,  and  begat  sons 
and  daughters.  22.  And  Serug  lived  thirty 
years,  and  begat  Nahor:  23.  And  Serug 
lived  after  he  begat  Nahor,  two  hundred 
years,  and  begat  sons  and  daughters.  24. 
And  Nahor  lived  nine  and  twenty  years, 
and  begat  Terah:  25.  And  Nahor  lived 
after  he  begat  Terali,  an  hundred  and  nine- 
teen years,  and  begat  sons  and  daughters. 
26.  And  Terah  lived  seventy  years,  and 
begat  Abram,  Nahor,  and  Haran. 

We  have  here  a genealogy,  not  an  endless  gene- 
alogy; for  here  it  ends  in  Abram,  the  friend  of  Rod, 
and  leads  further  to  Christ,  the  promised  Seed, 
who  was  the  Son  of  Aljram,  and  from  Abram  the 
genealogy  of  Christ  is  reckoned,  (Matth.  1.  1,  Scc.'i 
so  that  put  ch.  5.  ch.  11,  and  Matth.  1,  together, 
and  you  have  such  an  entire  genealogy  of  Jesus 
Christ  as  cannot  be  produced,  tor  aught  I know, 
concerning  any  person  in  the  world,  out  of  his  line, 
and  at  such  a distance  from  the  fountain-head.  And 
laying  these  three  genealogies  together,  we  shall 
find  that  twice  ten,  and  thrice  fourteen,  generations 
or  descents,  passed  between  the  first  and  second 
Adam,  making  it  clear  concerning  Christ,  not  only 
that  he  was  the  Son  of  Abraham,  but  the  Son  of 
man,  and  the  Seed  of  the  woman.  Observe  here, 
1.  That  nothing  is  left  upon  record  concerning 
those  of  this  line,  but  their  names  and  ages;  the 
Holy  Ghost  seeming  to  hasten  through  them  to 
the  story  of  Abram.  How  litfle  do  we  know  of 
those  that  are  gone  before  us  in  this  world,  even 
those  that  lived  in  the  same  places  where  we 
live,  as  we  likewise  know  little  01  those  that  are  oui 
contemporaries,  in  distant  places;  we  have  enough 
to  do,  to  mind  the  work  of  our  own  day,  and  let  God 
alone  to  require  that  ’ivhich  is  /last,  Eccl.  3.  15.  2. 

That  there  was  an  obseiamble  gradual  decrease  in 
the  years  of  their  lives;  Shem  reached  to  600  years, 
which  yet  fell  short  of  the  age  of  the  ])atriarchs 
before  the  flood;  the  three  next  came  short  ('f  500; 
the  three  next  did  not  reach  to  300;  after  them,  we 
read  not  of  any  that  attained  to  200,  but  I'erah ; and, 
not  many  ages  after  this,  Moses  reckoned  70  or  80 
to  be  the  utmost  men  ordinarily  arrive  at:  when  the 
earth  began  to  be  replenished,  men’s  lives  began  to 
shorten;  so  that  the  decrease  is  to  be  imputed  to  the 
wise  disposal  of  providence,  rather  than  to  any  de- 
cay of  nature;  for  the  elect’s  sake,  men’s  days  are 
shortened;  and  being  evil,  it  is  well  they  are  few, 
and  attain  not  to  the  years  of  the  Itves  of  our  fa- 


thers, cn,  47.  9.  3.  That  Eber,  from  whom  the 

Hebrews  were  denominated,  was  the  longest  lived 
of  any  that  were  bom  after  the  flood;  which  per- 
haps was  the  reward  of  his  singular  piety,  and  strict 
adherence  to  the  ways  of  God. 

27.  Now  these  are  the  generations  of 
Terah:  Terah  begat  Abram,  Nahor,  and  Ha- 
ran ; and  Haran  begat  Lot.  28.  And  Haian 
died  before  his  father  Terah,  in  the  land  of 
his  nativity,  in  Ur  of  the  Chaldees.  29. 
And  Abram  and  Nahor  took  them  wives: 
the  name  of  Abram’s  wife  was  Sarai ; and 
the  name  of  Nahor’s  wife,  Milcah,  the 
daughter  of  Haran,  the  father  of  Milcah, 
and  the  father  of  Iscah.  30.  But  Saiai 
was  barren;  she  had  no  child.  31.  And 
I’erah  took  Abram  his  son,  and  Lot,  the 
son  of  Haran,  his  son’s  son,  and  Sarai  his 
daughter-in-law,  liis  son  Abram’s  wife  ; and 
they  went  forth  with  thein  from  Ur  of  the 
Chaldees,  to  go  into  the  land  of  Canaan , 
and  they  came  unto  Haran,  and  dwelt  there. 
32.  And  the  days  of  Terah  were  two  hun- 
dred and  five  years:  and  Terah  died  in 
Haran. 

Here  begins  the  story  of  Abram,  whose  name  is 
famous,  henceforw..rd,  in  both  Test  aments;  we  h.ia  1: 
here, 

I.  His  country;  Ur  of  the  Chaldees,  that  wfs  the 
land  of  his  nativity,  an  idolatrous  country,  where 
even  the  children  of  Eber  themselves  were  degene- 
rated. Note,  Those  who  are,  through  grace,  he  rs 
of  the  land  of  promise,  ought  to  remember  what 
Avas  the  land  of  their  nativity;  what  was  their  cor- 
rupt and  sinful  state  by  nature;  the  rock  out  (f 
which  they  were  hewn. 

II.  His  relations;  mentioned  for  his  sake,  and  be- 
cause of  their  interest  in  the  following  stoiy.  1. 
His  father  was  Terah,  of  whom  it  is  said,  Jesh.  24. 
2,  that  he  ser\  ed  other  gods,  on  the  other  side  of 
the  flood:  so  early  did  idolatry  gain  footing  in  the 
world,  and  so  hard  is  it  even  for  those  that  have 
some  good  principles,  to  swim  against  tlie  stream. 
Though  it  is  said,  \k  26,  that  when  Terah  Avas 
seventy  years  old,  he  begat  Abram,  Nahor,  and 
Haran,  (which  seems  to  tell  us  that  Abram  Avar, 
the  eldest  son  of  Terah,  and  bom  in  his  70th  year,) 
yet,  by  comparing  v.  32,  which  makes  Terah  to 

I die  in  his  205th  year,  Avith  Acts  7.  4,  (Avhere  it  is 
said  that  Abram  remo\  ed  from  Haran,  Avhen  his 
father  Avas  dead,)  and  Avith  ch.  12.  4,  (Avhere  it  is 
said  tliat  he  Avas  but  75  yeai-s  old  Avhen  he  removed 
from  Haran,)  it  appears  that  he  Avas  born  in  the 
130th  year  of  Terah,  and,  probably,  Avas  his  young- 
est son;  for,  in  God’s  choices,  the  last  are  often  first, 
and  tlie  first  last.  We  haA  e,  2.  Some  account  of 
his  brethren.  (1. ) jVahor,  out  of  Avhose  family  both 
I Is  lac  and  Jacob  had  their  Avives.  (2.)  Haran,  the 
f ather  ef  Lot,  of  Avhom  it  is  here  said,  v.  28,  that 
he  died  before  his  father  Terah.  Note,  Children 
cannot  be  sure  that  they  shall  survive  their  p;. rents: 
for  death  does  not  go  by  seniority,  t 'king  the  eldest 
first:  the  shadow  of  death  is  without  any  order,  Job 
10.  22.  It  is  likeAvise  said  that  he  died  in  Ur  of  the 
Chaldees,  before  the  hapjjy  removal  of  the  faimily 
out  of  that  idolatrous  country.  Note,  It  concerns 
us  to  hasten  out  of  our  natural  state,  lest  death  sair- 
prise  ns  in  it.  3.  His  Avife  Avas  Sarai,  Avho,  some  think, 
Avas  the  same  with  Iscah,  the  daughter  of  Haran. 
Abram  himself  says  of  her,  that  she  Avas  the  daugh- 


GENESIS,  XII. 


ter  of  his  father,  but  not  the  daughter  of  his  mother, 
ch.  20.  12.  She  was  ten  years  younger  than  Abram. 

III.  His  departure  out  of  Ur  of  the  Chaldees, 
with  his  father  Terah,  his  nephew  Lot,  and  the 
rest  of  his  family,  in  obedien.  e to  the  call  of  God, 
of  which  we  shall  read  more,  ch.  12.  1,  tfc.  This 
chapter  leaves  them  in  Haran,  or  Charran,  a place 
about  the  midway  between  Ur  and  Canaan,  where 
they  dwelt  till  Terah’shead  was  laid,  probably  be- 
cause the  old  man  was  unable,  through  the  infirmi- 
ties of  age,  to  proceed  in  his  journey.  Many  reach 
to  Charran,  and  yet  fall  short  of  Canaan;  they  are 
not  far  from  the  kingdom  of  God,  and  yet  never 
come  thither. 


CHAP.  XII. 

The  pedigree  and  family  of  Abram  we  had  an  account  of 
in  the  foregoing  chapter ; here,  the  Holy  Ghost  enters 
upon  his  story ; henceforward,  Abram  and  his  seed  are 
almost  the  only  subject  of  the  sacred  history.  In  this 
chapter  we  have,  I.  God’s  call  of  Abram  to  the  land  of 
Canaan,  v.  1..3.  II.  Abram’s  obedience  to  this  call,  v. 
4,  6.  III.  His  welcome  to  the  land  of  Canaan,  v.  6,  7. 
IV.  His  journey  to  Egvpt,  with  an  account  of  wnat  hap- 
pened to  him  there.  Abram’s  flight  and  fault,  v.  10..  13. 
Sarai’s  danger,  and  deliverance,  v.  14.. 20. 

1 . the  Lord  had  said  unto  Abram, 
JL^  Get  thee  out  of  thy  country,  and 

from  thy  kindred,  and  from  thy  father’s 
house,  unto  a land  that  I will  show  thee. 

2.  And  I will  make  of  thee  a great  nation, 
and  I will  bless  thee,  and  make  thy  name 
great;  and  thou  shalt  be  a blessing:  3. 
And  I will  bless  them  that  bless  thee,  and 
curse  him  that  curseth  thee : and  in  thee 
shall  all  families  of  the  earth  be  blessed. 

We  have  here  the  call  by  which  Abram  was  i-e- 
mo\ed  out  of  the  land  of  his  nativity  into  the  land 
of  promise;  which  was  designed  both  to  tiy  his 
fiith  and  obedience,  and  also  to  separate  him,  and 
set  him  apart,  for  God  and  for  special  ser\  ices  and 
favours  which  were  further  designed.  The  cir- 
cumstances of  this  call  we  may  be  somewhat  help- 
ed to  the  knowledge  of,  from  Stephen’s  speech, 
.Acts  7.  2,  where  we  are  told,  1.  That  the  God  of 
gloiy  appeared  to  him,  to  give  him  this  call;  ap- 
peared in  such  displays  of  his  glory,  as  left  Abram 
no  room  to  doubt  the  divine  authority  of  this  call. 
God  spake  to  him  afterward  in  divers  manners;  bat 
this  first  time,  when  the  correspondence  was  to  be 
settled,  he  appeared  to  him  as  (he  God  of  glory, 
and  spake  to  him.  2.  That  this  call  was  given  him 
in  Mesopotamia,  before  he  dwelt  in  Charran;  there- 
fore we  rightly  read  it.  The  Lord  had  said  unto 
Abram,  namely,  in  Ur  of  the  Chddees;  and,  in 
obedience  to  this  call,  as  Stephen  farther  relates 
the  story,  v.  4,  he  came  out  of  the  land  of  the  Chal- 
deans, and  dwelt  in  Charran,  or  Haran,  about fi-ve 
years,  and  from  thence,  when  his  father  was  dead, 
by  a fresh  command,  pursuant  to  the  former,  God 
removed  him  into  the  land  of  Canaan.  Some  think 
that  Haran  was  in  Chaldea,  and  so  was  still  a part 
of  Abram’s  countty ; or  that  he,  h:i\  ing  staid  there 
five  yeai*s,  began  to  call  it  his  country,  and  to  take 
root  there,  till  God  let  him  know  that  this  was  not  I 
the  place  he  was  intended  for.  Note,  If  God  lo\  es 
us,  and  has  mercy  in  store  for  us,  he  will  not  suffer 
ns  to  take  up  our  rest  any  where  short  of  Canaan, 
l7ut  will  graciously  repeat  h s calls,  till  the  good 
work  beg  m,  be  performed,  and  our  souls  repose  in 
l^rod  only. 

In  the  call  itself,  we  have  a precept  and  a promise. 
I.  A trying  precept,  v.  1,  Get  thee  out  of  thy 
t 'intry.  Now, 


ij  1.  By  this  precept  he  was  tried  whether  he  loved 
! God  better  than  he  loved  his  native  soil  and  dear- 
jl  est  friends,  and  whether  he  could  willingly  leave  all, 
ji  to  go  along  with  God.  His  country  was  become 
idolatrous,  his  kindred  and  his  father’s  house  were 
;!  a constant  temptation  to  him,  and  he  could  not  con- 
Ij  tinue  with  them  without  danger  of  being  infected 
j by  them;  therefore.  Get  thee  out,  nS  nS  Vade  tibi— 
il  Get  thee  gone,  with  all  speed,  escafie  for  thy  life, 
look  not  behind  thee,  ch.  19.  7.  Note,  Those  that 
11  are  in  a sinful  state  are  concerned  to  make  all  haste 
|l  possible  out  of  it.  Get  out  for  thyself,  (so  some 
j read  it,)  that  is,  for  thine  own  good.  Note,  Those 
who  leave  their  sins  and  turn  to  God,  will  them- 
! selves  be  unspeakable  gainers  Iw  the  change,  Prov. 

I 9.  12.  This  command  which  God  gave  to  Abram, 

I is  much  the  same  with  the  gospel-call  by  which  all 
the  spiritual  seed  of  faithful  Abram  are  brought  into 
covenant  with  God.  For,  (1.)  Natural  affection 
must  give  way  to  divine  grace:  our  country  is  dear 
to  us,  our  kindred  dearer,  and  our  father’s  hot : ■ 
dearest  of  all;  and  yet  they  must  all  be  hated,  Luke 
14.  26,  that  is,  we  must  love  them  less  than  Christ, 
hate  them  in  comparison  with  him,  and,  whenever 
any  of  these  come  in  competition  with  him,  they 
must  be  postponed,  and  the  preference  given  to  the 
will  and  honour  of  the  Lord  Jesus.  (2. ) Sin  and  all 
the  occasions  of  it,  must  be  forsaken,  and,  particu- 
larly, bad  company;  we  must  abandon  all  the  idols 
of  iniquity  which  have  been  set  up  in  our  hearts, 
and  get  out  of  the  way  of  temptation,  plucking  out 
even  a right  eye  that  leads  us  to  sin,  Matth.  5.  29, 
willingly  parting  with  that  which  is  dearest  to  us, 
when  we  cannot  keep  it  without  hazard  of  our  in- 
tegrity. Tliose  that  resoh  e to  keep  the  command- 
ments of  God,  must  quit  the  society  of  evil  doers, 
Ps.  119.  115.  Acts  2.  40.  (3.)  The  world,  and  all 

our  enjoyments  in  it,  must  be  looked  upon  with  a 
holy  indifference  and  contempt;  we  must  no  longer 
look  upon  it  as  our  country,  or  home,  but  as  our  inn, 
and  must,  accordingly,  sit  loose  to  it,  and  liv  e abov  e 
it,  get  out  of  it  in  affection. 

2.  By  this  precept  he  was  tried,  whether  he 
could  trust  God  further  than  he  saw  him;  for  he 
must  leave  his  own  country,  to  go  to  a land  that 
God  would  show  him;  he  does  not  say,  “It  is  aland 
that  I will  give  thee,”  but  merely,  “a  land  that  I 
will  thee.”  Nor  does  he  tell  him  what  land 
it  was,  or  what  kind  of  land;  but  he  must  follow 
God  with  an  implicit  faith,  and  take  God’s  word 
for  it,  though  he  had  no  particular  securities  given 
him,  that  he  should  be  no  loser  by  lea\  ing  his  coun- 
try, to  follow  God.  Note,  Those  that  will  deal 
with  God,  must  deal  upon  trust;  we  must  quit  the 
things  that  are  seen,  for  things  that  are  not  seen, 
and  submit  to  the  sufferings  of  this  present  time,  in 
hopes  of  a glory'  that  is  yet  to  be  revealed,  Rom.  fi. 
18,  for  it  doth  not  yet  afifiear,  what  we  shall  be,  1 
John,  3.  2,  any  more  than  it  did  to  Abram,  when 
God  called  him  to  a land  he  would  show  him,  so 
teaching  him  to  li\  e in  a continual  dependence  upon 
his  direction,  and  with  his  eye  ever  toward  him. 

II.  Here  is  an  encouraging  promise,  nav,  it  is  a 
complication  of  promises,  many,  and  exceeding 
great  and  precious.  Note,  .All  God’s  precepts  are 
attended  with  promises  to  be  obedient;  when  he 
makes  himself  known  to  us  as  a Commander,  he 
makes  himself  known  also  as  a Rewarder;  if  we 
obey  the  command,  God  will  not  fail  to  perform  the 
promise.  Here  are  six  promises. 

1.  I will  make  of  thee  a great  nation;  when  (iod 
took  him  from  his  own  people,  he  promised  to  make 
him  the  head  of  another;  he  cut  him  off  from  being 
the  branch  of  a wild  oli  ve,  to  make  him  the  root  of 
a good  olive.  This  p’'''mi.«e  was,  (1.)  A great  re- 
lief to  Abram’s  burtiien;  for  he  haa  now  no  child. 
Note,  God  knows  how  to  suit  his  favours  to  the 


86 


GENESIS,  XII. 


wants  and  necessities  of  his  children.  He  that  has 
a plaster  for  every  sore,  will  pro\  ide  one  for  that 
first,  that  is  most  painful.  (2.)  A great  trial  to 
Abram’s  faith;  for  his  wife  had  been  long  barren, 
so  that  if  he  believe,  it  must  be  against  hope,  and 
his  faith  must  build  purely  upon  that  power  whit  h 
can  out  of  stones  raise  u/i  children  unto  Abraham, 
and  make  them  a gre;;t  nation.  Note,  [1.]  God 
makes  nations;  by  him  they  are  born  at  once,  Isa. 
66.  8,  and  he  speaks  to  build  and  plant  them,  Jer. 
18.  9.  And  [2.  J If  a nation  be  made  great  in  wealth 
and  power,  it  is  God  that  makes  it  great.  [3.] 
God  can  raise  great  nations  oat  of  dry  ground,  and 
can  make  a little  one  to  be  a thousand. 

2.  I will  bless  thee;  either  particularly,  with  the 
blessing  of  fruitfulness  and  increase,  as  he  had 
blessed  Adam  and  Noah;  or  in  general,  “/  will 
bless  thee  with  all  manner  of  blessings,  both  of  the 
upper  and  the  nether  springs:  leave  thy  father’s 
house,  and  I will  gi\  e thee  a father’s  blessing,  bet- 
ter than  that  of  thy  progenitors.”  Note,  Obedient 
believers  shall  be  sure  to  inherit  the  blessing. 

3.  I will  make  thy  name  great;  by  deserting  his 

country,  he  lost  his  name  there:  “Care  not  for 
that,”  says  God,  “but  trust  me,  and  I will  make 
thee  a greater  name  than  ever  thou  couldest  hav  e 
had  there.”  Having  no  child,  he  feared  he  should 
have  no  name;  but  God  will  make  him  a great  na- 
tion, and  so  make  him  a great  name.  Note,  (1.) 
God  is  the  fountain  of  honour,  and  from  him  pro- 
motion comes,  1 Sam.  2,  8.  (2.)  The  name  of  obe- 

dient believers  shall  certainly  be  celebrated,  and 
made  great:  the  best  report  is  that  which  the  elders 
obtained  by  faith,  Heb.  11.  2. 

4.  Thou  shalt  be  a blessing;  that  is,  (1.)  “Thy 
happiness  shall  be  a sample  of  happiness,  so  that 
those  who  would  bless  their  friends,  shall  only  pray 
that  God  would  make  them  like  Abram as  Ruth 
4.  11.  Note,  God’s  dealings  with  obedient  believ- 
ers, are  so  kind  and  gracious,  that  we  need  not  de- 
sire for  ourseh  es  or  our  friends  to  be  any  better 
dealt  with;  that  is  blessedness  enough.  (2.)  “Thy 
life  shall  be  a blessing  to  the  places  where  thou 
shalt  sojourn.  ” Note,  Good  men  are  the  blessings 
of  their  countiy,  and  it  is  their  unspeakable  honour 
and  happiness  to  be  made  so. 

5.  I will  bless  them  that  bless  thee,  and  curse  him 
that  curseth  thee;  this  made  it  a kind  of  a league 
offensive  and  defensive,  between  God  and  Aljram. 
Abram  heartily  espoused  God’s  cause,  and  here 
God  promises  to  interest  himself  in  his;  (1.)  He 
promises  to  be  a Friend  to  his  friends,  to  take  kind- 
nesses shown  to  him  as  done  to  himself,  and  to  re- 
compense them  accordingly.  God  will  take  care 
that  none  be  losers,  in  the  long  urn,  by  any  service 
done  for  his  people;  ev  en  a cup  of  cold  water  shall 
be  rewarded.  (2. ) He  ])romises  to  appear  against 
his  enemies;  there  were  those  that  h'ated  and  cursed 
even  Abram  himself;  but  while  their  causeless 
curses  could  not  hurt  Abram,  God’s  righteous  curse 
would  certainly  overtake  and  ruin  them.  Numb.  2-!. 

9.  This  is  a good  reason  why  we  should  bless  them 
that  curse  us,  because  it  is  enough  that  God  will 
curse  them,  Ps.  38.  13..  15. 

6.  In  thee  shall  all  families  of  the  earth  be  blessed; 
this  was  the  premise  that  crowned  all  the  rest;  for 
it  points  at  the  Messiah,  in  whom  all  the  promises 
are  yea  and  amen.  Note,  (1.)  Jesus  Christ  is  the 
great  Blessing  of  the  world,  the  greatest  tint  e er 
the  worlfl  wa.s  blessed  with;  he  is  a f imilv-blessing, 
by  him  s-  Ivation  is  brought  to  the  house,  Luke  19. 

9.  W'hen  we  rc  kon  up  our  familv  blessings,  let 
us  put  Christ  in  the  imprimis — the  first  place,  as  the 
Blessing  of  blessings.  But  how  are  all  the  families 
of  the  earth  blessed  in  Christ,  when  so  many  are 
strangers  to  him  ? Atiswer,  [1.]  All  that  are  bless- 
ed, are  blessed  in  him.  Acts  4.  12.  [2.]  All  that  II 


1 believe,  of  what  family  soever  they  are,  shall  be 
j blessed  in  him.  [3.]  Some  of  all  the  families  of 
I the  earth  are  blessed  in  him.  [4.  ] There  are  some 
I blessings  which  all  the  families  of  the  earth  are 
blessed  with  in  Christ;  for  the  gospel-salvation  is  a 
common  salvation,  Jude  3.  (2.)  It  is  a great  honour 
to  be  related  to  Christ;  this  made  Abram’s  name 
great,  that  the  Messiah  was  to  descend  from  his 
loins,  much  more  than  that  he  should  be  the  father 
j of  many  nations.  It  was  Abram’s  honour  to  be  his 
father  by  nature;  it  will  be  our’s  to  be  his  brethren 
by  grace.  Matt.  12.  50. 

4.  So  Abram  departed,  as  the  Lord  had 
spoken  unto  him  ; and  Lot  went  with  him  : 
and  Abram  tvas  seventy  and  five  years  old 
when  he  departed  out  of  Haran.  5.  And 
Abram  took  Sarai  his  wife,  and  Lot  his  bro- 
j ther’s  son,  and  all  their  substance  that  they 
had  gathered,  and  the  souls  that  they  had 
gotten  in  Haran  ; and  they  went  forth  .to  go 
into  the  land  of  Canaan;  and  into  the  land 
of  Canaan  they  came. 

Here  is, 

I.  Abram’s  removal  out  of  his  country;  out  of  Ur 
first,  and  afterward  out  of  Haran,  in  compliance 
with  the  call  of  God;  so  Abram  departed;  he  was 
not  disobedient  to  the  heavenly  vision,  but  did  as  he 
was  bidden,  not  conferring  with  flesh  arid  blood. 
Gal.  1.  15,  16.  His  obedience  was  speedy  and 
without  delay,  submissiv  e and  without  dispute;  foi 
he  went  out,  not  knowing  whither  he  went,  Heb.  1 1 
8,  but  knowing  whom  he  followed,  and  imder 
whose  direction  he  went.  Thus  God  called  him  to 
his  foot,  Isa.  41.  2. 

II.  His  age  when  he  remov  ed;  he  was  seventy 
and  Jive  years  old,  an  age  when  he  should  rather 
have  had  rest  and  settlement;  but  if  God  will  ha\  e 
him  to  begin  the  world  r.gain  now  in  his  old  age,  he 
will  submit.  Here  is  an  instance  of  an  old  con\  ert. 

III.  The  company  and  cargo  that  he  took  with 
him. 

1.  He  took  his  wife,  and  his  nephew  Lot,  with 
him ; not  by  force  and  against  their  wills,  but  by 
persuasion.  Sarai,  his  wife,  would  be  sure  to  go 
with  him.;  God  had  joined  them  together,  and  no- 
thing shoidd  put  them  asunder.  If  Abram  leave 
all  to  fellow  God,  Sarai  will  leave  all  to  follow 
Abram;  though  neither  ot  them  knew  whither. 
Ancl  it  was  a mercy  to  Abr.am  to  hav  e such  a com- 
panion in  his  travels,  a help  mfeet  for  him.  Note, 
It  is  \ eiy  comfortable  when  husband  and  wife  agree 
to  go  together  in  the  way  to  hea\  en.  Lot  also,  his 
kinsman,  was  influent  cd  by  Abram’s  good  example, 
who  was  perh:ips  his  guardian  after  the  death  of 
his  father,  and  he  was  willing  to  go  alcng  with  him 
too.  Note,  Those  that  go  to  Canaan,  need  not  go 
alone;  for  thcu.gh  few  find  the  strait  gate,  blessed 
be  Gcd,  some  do;  and  it  is  our  wisdom  to  go  with 
those  with  whom  God  is,  Zech.  8.  23,  wherever 
they  go. 

2.  They  took  all  their  cfFe'  ts  with  them;  all  their 
substance  and  mo\  e:ible  g(  cds,  that  they  had  gather- 
ed. For,  (1.)  With  themsehes  they  wo\dd  give 
up  their  all,  to  l)c  at  God’s  dispcsnl,  would  kee]) 
b '.fknopait  of  the  price,  but  venture  all  in  one 
bottom,  knowing  it  was  a good  licttcm.  (2.)  I'hev 
would  furnish  thcmsel  es  with  that  which  was  re 
quisitc,  both  for  the  ser\  ice  cf  God,  and  the  si  pply 
of  their  f imily,  in  the  country  whither  they  wtn-’c 
going.  To  hav  e thrown  away  his  substance,  be 
cause  God  had  promised  to  bless  him,  had  been  to 
tempt  God,  not  to  trust  him.  (3.)  They  would  ivit 
be  under  any  temptation  to  return,  therefore  tla  y 


87 


GENESIS,  XII. 


leave  not  a hoof  behind,  lest  that  should  make  them 
mindful  of  the  country  from  nohich  they  came  out. 

3.  They  took  with  them  the  aouls  that  they  had 
gotten,  that  is,  (1.)  The  servants  they  had  bought, 
which  were  part  of  their  substance,  but  are  called 
aouls,  to  remind  masters  that  their  poor  servants 
have  souls,  /irecious  souls,  which  they  ought  to  take 
care  of,  and  provide  food  con\  enient  for.  (2.)  The 
proselytes  they  had  made,  and  persuaded  to  attend 
the  worship  of  the  true  (lod,  mid  to  go  with  them 
to  Canaan;  the  souls  which  (as  cue  of  the  Rabbins 
expresses  it)  they  had  gathered  under  the  wings  of  i 
the  Divine  Majesty.  Note,  These  who  setae  and  j 
follow  God  themselves,  should  do  all  they  can  to 
bring  others  to  serve  and  follow  him  too.  Those 
souls  they  are  said  to  h.,x\  c.  gained ; we  must  re.kon 
ourseh  es  true  gainers,  if  we  can  but  win  souls  to 
Christ. 

IV.  Here  is  their  happy  arrival  at  their  journey’s 
end.  They  went  forth  to  go  into  the  land  of  Canaan, 
so  they  did  before,  {ch.  11.  31.)  and  then  took  up 
short;' but  now  they  held  on  their  way,  and,  by  the 
good  hand  of  their  God  upon  them,  to  the  land  of 
Canaan  they  came;  where,  by  a fresh  revelation, 
they  were  told  that  this  was  the  land  God  promised 
to  show  them.  They  were  not  discouraged  by  the 
difficulties  they  met  with  in  their  way,  nor  diverted 
bv  the  delights  they  met  with;  but  pressed  fomvard.  j 
Note,  1.  Those  that  set  out  for  heaien,  must  perse-  1 
vere  to  the  end,  still  reaching  forth  to  those  things 
that  are  before.  2.  That  wliich  we  undertake,  in 
obedience  to  God’s  command,  and  a humble  atten- 
dance upon  his  providence,  will  certainly  succeed, 
and  end  with  comfort  at  last. 

6 Alul  Abram  passed  through  the  land 
unto  the  place  of  Sichem,  unto  the  plain  of  | 
Moreh.  And  tlie  Canaanite  ims  then  in  i 
the  land.  7.  And  the  Lord  appeared  unto  j 
Abram,  and  said,  Unto  thy  seed  will  I give 
this  land  : and  there  builded  he  an  altar  un- 
to the  Lord,  who  appeared  unto  him.  8. 
And  he  removed  from  thence  unto  a moun- 
tain on  tile  east  of  Beth-el,  and  pitched  his 
tent,  having  Beth-el  on  the  west,  and  Hai  on 
the  east : and  there  he  builded  an  altar  unto 
the  Lord,  and  called  upon  the  name  of  the 
Lord.  9.  And  Abram  journeyed,  going  on 
still  toward  the  south. 

One  would  have  expected  that  .\bram  hr.ving  had 
such  an  extraordin  iry  call  to  Canaan,  some  great 
e'.  ent  should  have  followed  upon  his  arri  al  there; 
that  he  should  have  been  introduced  with  all  possi- 
ble marks  of  honour  and  respect,  and  that  the  kings 
of  Canaan  should  immediately  ha\e  surrendered 
their  crowns  to  him,  and  done  him  homage:  but,  lo! 
he  comes  not  with  observation,  little  nrtice  is  taken 
of  him;  for  still  God  will  hav  e him  to  li  e by  faith, 
and  to  look  upon  Canaan,  even  when  he  was  in  it,  as 
a land  of  promise:  therefore  observe  here, 

I.  How  little  comfort  he  had  in  the  land  he  came 
to;  for,  1.  hie  had  it  not  to  himself;  the  Canaanite 
•was  then  in  the  land.  He  found  the  country  peo 
pled  and  possessed  by  C .naanites,  who  were  likely 
to  be  but  bad  neighbours,  and  worse  landlords;  and, 
tor  aught  that  appears,  he  could  not  have  ground  to 
pitch  his  tent  on,  but  by  their  permission:  thus  the 
accursed  Canaanites  seemed  to  be  in  better  circum- 
stances than  blessed  Abram.  Note,  The  children 
of  this  world  have  commonly  more  of  it  than  God’s 
children.  2.  He  had  not  a settlement  in  it.  He 
passed  through  the  land,  v.  6.  He  removed  to  a 


mountain,  v.  8.  H^oumeyed,  going  on  still,  v.  9. 
Observe  here,  (1.)  That  sometimes  it  is  the  lot  of 
good  men  to  be  unsettled,  and  obliged  often  to  re- 
move their  habitation.  Holy  David  had  his  wander- 
ings, his  fiittings,  Ps.  56.  8.  (2.)  Our  removes  in 

this  world  are  often  into  various  conditions. 

Abram  sojourned,  first,  in  a plain,  v.  6,  thi:n,  in 
a mountain,  v.  8.  God  h dset  the  one  over  against 
the  other.  (3.)  All  good  people  must  look  upon 
themselves  as  strangers  and  sojourners  in  this  world, 
and  liy  faith  sit  loose  to  it  as  a strange  country.  So 
j Abram  did,  Hcb.  11.  8.  . 14.  (4.)  While  we  are 

here  in  this  present  st  .te,  we  must  be  journeying, 
and  going  on  still  from  strength  to  strength,  as  hav- 
ing not  vet  attained. 

il.  How  much  comfort  he  had  in  the  God  he  fol- 
lowed; when  he  could  have  little  satisfaction  in  con- 
verse with  the  Canaanites,  whom  he  found  there, 
he  had  abundance  of  pleasure  in  communion  with 
that  God  who  brought  him  thither,  and  did  not  leave 
him.  Communion  with  God  is  kept  up  by  the  word 
and  by  prayer,  and  by  these  according  to  the  me- 
thods of  that  dispensation,  Abram’s  communion 
with  God  was  kept  up  in  the  hind  of  his  pilgrimage. 

1.  God  appeared  to  Abram ; probably,  in  a vision, 
and  spake  to  him  good  words,  and  comfortable 
words.  Unto  thy  seed  will  I give  this  land.  Note, 
j n.)  No  place  or  condition  of  life  can  shut  us  out 
[ from  the  comfort  of  God’s  gracious  visits.  Abram 
is  a sojourner,  unsettled,  among  the  Canaanites;  and 
} yet  here  also  he  meets  with  him  that  lives  and  sees 
1 him.  Enemies  may  part  us  and  our  tents,  us  and 
our  altars,  but  not  us  and  our  God.  Nay,  (2.)  With 
respect  to  those  that  faithfully  follow  God  in  a way 
of  duty,  though  he  lead  them  from  their  friends,  he 
will  himself  make  up  that  less  by  his  gracious  ap- 
j pearances  to  them.  (3.)  God’s  pi'omises  are  sure 
i and  satisfying  to  all  those  who  conscientiously  ob- 
I serve  and  obey  his  precepts:  and  those  who,  in  com- 
pliance  with  God’s  call,  leave  or  lose  any  thing  that 
I is  dear  to  them,  shall  be  sure  of  something  else 
1 abundantly  better  in  lieu  of  it.  Abram  had  left  the 
jj  land  of  his  nativity,  “Well,”  says  God,  “I  will  give 
thee  this  land,”  Matth.  19.  29.  (4.)  God  reveals 

himself  and  his  favours  to  his  people  by  degrees;  be- 
I fore  he  had  promised  to  show  him  this  land,  now,  to 
1 give  it  him:  as  gi*ace  is  growing,  so  is  comfort.  (5.) 
j It  is  comfort  ble  to  have  land  of  God’s  giving,  not 
i by  prov  idence  only,  but  by  promise.  (6.)  Mercies 
to  the  children  are  mercies  to  the  parents.  “ I will 
!j  give  it,  not  to  thee,  but  to  thy  seed;”  it  is  a grant  in 
j reversion,  to  his  seed,  which  yet,  it  should  seem, 
Abram  understood  also  as  a grant  to  himself  of  a bet- 
I ter  land  in  reversion,  of  which  this  tfas  a type;  for 
I he  looked  for  a heavenly  country,  Heb.  11.  16. 
j 2.  Abrnm  attended  on  God  in  his  instituted  ordi- 
' nances.  He  built  an  altar  unto  the  Lord,  who  ap- 
peared  to  him,  and  called  on  the  name  of  the  Lord, 
|j  v.  7,  8.  Now  consider  this,  (1.)  As  done  upon  a 
jl  special  occasion;  when  God  appeared  to  him,  then 
j|  and  there  he  built  an  altar,  with  an  eye  to  the  God 
i!  who  appeared  to  him.  Thus  he  returned  God’s 
j visit,  and  kept  up  his  correspondence  with  Heaven, 

: as  one  that  resolved  it  should  not  fail  on  his  side; 
, thus  he  acknowledged  with  thankfulness,  God’s 
: kindness  to  him  in  making  him  that  gracious  visit 
j and  premise;  and  thus  he  testified  his  confidence  in, 
j and  dependence  upen,  the  word  which  God  had 
j spoken.  Note,  An  active  believer  can  heartily  bless 
God  for  a promise  which  he  does  not  yet  see  the 
' performance  of,  and  build  an  altar  to  the  honour  of 
, God  who  appears  to  him,  though  he  does  not  yet  ap 
i pear  /or  him.  (2.)  As  his  constant  practice,  whith- 
I ersnever  he  removed.  As  soon  as  Abram  was  gr<t 
j to  Canaan,  though  he  was  but  a stranger  and  so- 
1 journer  there,  yet  he  set  up,  and  kept  up  the  wor- 
1 ship  of  God  in  his  family;  and  wherever  he  had  a 


8!5 


GENESIS,  XIL 


tent,  God  had  n alt  ir,  and  that,  an  altar  sanctified  I 
Dy  yrayer.  for  he  lut  ordy  minded  the  ceremonial  ! 
part  oi  religion,  the  (;d'cring  of  sacrifice;  but  he  made  : 
conscience  of  the  natural  duty  of  seeking  tf)  his  God,  j 
and  calling  on  his  name,  that  spiritual  sacrifice  with 
which  God  is  well-pleased;  he  preached  concerning  1; 
the  name  cf  the  Lord,  that  is,  he  instructed  his  fa-  ' 
mily  and  neighbours  in  the  knowledge  of  the  true  | 
G-od,  and  his  holy  religion.  The  souls  he  had  got-  \ 
ten  n Haran,  being  discipled,  must  be  further  | 
taught.  Note,  Those  that  would  appro\  e them- 
selves the  children  of  faithful  Abram,  and  would  in- 
herit the  blessing  of  Abram,  must  make  conscience 
of  keeping  up  the  solemn  worship  of  God,  particu- 
larly in  their  families,  according  to  the  example  of 
Abram : the  way  of  family  worship  is  a good  old  way,  | 
is  no  novel  invention,  but  the  ancient  usage  of  all  the  [ 
s ints.  Abram  was  very  rich,  and  had  a numerous  | 
family,  was  now  unsettled,  and  in  the  midst  of  ene-  i 
Uiies;  and  yet,  wherever  he  pitched  his  tent,  he  i 
ljuilt  an  altar:  wherever  we  go,  let  us  not  fail  to  take  | 

( ur  religion  along  with  us.  j 

1 0.  And  there  was  a famine  in  the  land : ! 

and  Abram  went  down  into  Egypt,  to  so- 1 
journ  there  ; for  the  famine  was  grievous  in  ' 
the  land.  11.  And  it  came  to  pass,  when  he 
was  come  near  to  enter  into  Egypt,  that  he 
said  unto  Sarai  his  wife.  Behold  now,  I 
know  that  thou  art  a fair  woman  to  look  up- 
on : 12.  Therefore  it  shall  come  to  pass, 

tt'hen  the  Egyptians  shall  see  thee,  that  they 
;hall  say.  This  is  his  wife : and  tliey  will 
kill  me,  but  they  will  save  thee  alive.  1.3. 
Say,  I pray  thee,  thou  art  my  sister ; that  it 
may  be  well  with  me  for  thy  sake  : and  my 
soul  shall  live  because  of  thee. 

Here  is, 

I.  A famine  in  the  land  of  Canaan,  a grie-co us  fa- 
mine; that  fruitful  land  was  turned  into  barrenness, 
nt't  only  to  punish  the  iniquity  of  the  Canaanites 
who  dwelt  therein,  but  to  exercise  the  faith  of  j 
Abram  who  sojouracd  therein;  and  a very  sore  trial  1 
t was:  it  tried  what  he  would  think,  1.  Of  God  that 
brought  him  hither:  whether  he  would  not  be  ready 
to  say,  with  his  murmuring  seed,  that  he  w^’s 
brought  forth  to  be  killed  nvith  hunger,  Exod.  16. 

3.  Nothing  short  of  a strong  fnth  could  keep  up 
good  thoughts  of  God  under  such  a providence.  2. 
Of  the  land  of  promise;  whether  he  would  think  the 
pr  mt  of  it  worth  the  accepting,  and  a valuable  con- 
sideration for  the  relinquishing  of  his  owm  country,  ^ 
when,  for  aught  that  now  appeared,  it  w:  s a land 
that  ate  uji  the  inhabitants:  now  he  w'as  tried, 
whether  he  could  preserve  an  unshaken  confidence 
th  it  the  God  who  brought  him  to  Can  an,  would 
maintain  him  there,  and  whether  he  could  rejoice  in 
him  as  the  God  of  his  salvation,  when  the  fig-tree 
did  not  blossom,  Hab.  3.  17,  18.  Note,  (1.)  Strong 
faith  is  commonly  exercised  with  divers  temptations, 
tliat  it  may  be  found  to  praise,  and  honour,  and 
glori/,  1 Pet.  1.  6,  7.  (2.)  It  pleases  God  some- 

times to  try  those  with  great  afflictions,  who  are  Init 
young  beginners  in  religion.  (3.)  It  is  possible  h r 
a man  to  l)e  in  the  way  of  dutv,  and  in  the  way  to 
Irappiness,  and  yet  meet  with  great  troubles  and 
disap])ointments. 

11.  Abram’s  remove  into  Egvpt,  upon  occasion  of 
this  famine.  Sec  how  wisely  God  provides  that 
there  should  be  plenty  in  one  place  when  there  was 
scarcity  in  another,  that  as  member  of  t’^e  great 
bod^',  we  may  not  say  to  one  another.  Ihnnr  no  nerd 


of  you.  God’s  providence  took  care  there  should 
be  a supply  in  Egypt,  and  Abram’s  prudence  made 
use  of  the  opportunity;  for  we  -empt  God,  and  do 
not  trust  him,  if,  in  the  time  of  distress,  we  use  not 
the  means  he  has  graciously  provided  for  our  pre- 
servation; we  must  not  expect  needless  miracle.s. 
But  that  which  is  especially  observable  here,  to  the 
praise  of  Abram,  is,  that  he  did  not  offer  to  reuirii, 
upon  this  occasion,  to  the  country  f"om  which  he 
c..me  out,  nor  so  much  as  towards  it.  The  land  ol 
his  nativity  lay  north-east  from  Canaan:  and  there 
fore,  when  he  must,  for  a time,  quit  Canaan,  h( 
chooses  to  go  to  Egypt  which  lay  scuth-west,  the 
contrary  way,  that  he  might  not  so  much  as  seem  to 
lookback;  see  Heb.  11.  15,  16.  Further  observe, 
when  he  went  down  into  Egypt,  it  was  to  sojourn 
there,  not  to  dwell  there.  Note,  1.  Though  Provi- 
dence, for  a time,  may  cast  us  into  bad  places,  yei 
we  ought  to  tarry  there  no  longer  than  needs  must; 
we  may  sojourn  there,  where  we  may  not  settle. 
2.  A good  man,  while  he  is  on  this  side  heaven, 
wherever  he  is,  is  but  a sojourner. 

III.  A great  fault  which  Abram  was  guilty  of,  in 
denying  his  wife,  and  pretending  that  she  was  his 
sister.  The  scripture  is  impartial  in  relating  the 
misdeeds  of  the  most  celebrated  saints,  which  are 
recorded,  not  for  our  imitation,  but  for  cur  admoni- 
tion; that  he  who  thinks  he  stands,  may  take  heed 
lest  he  fall.  1.  His  fault  was,  dissembling  his  rela- 
tion to  Sarai,  equivocating  concerning  it,  and  teach- 
ing his  wife,  and,  probably,  all  his  attendants,  to  do 
so  too.  What  he  said,  was,  in  a sense,  time,  {ch 
20.  12.)  but  with  a purpose  to  deceive;  he  so  con- 
cealed a further  truth,  as,  in  effect,  to  deny  it,  and 
to  expose  thereby  both  his  wife  and  the  Egy-ptians 
to  sin.  2.  That  which  was  at  the  bottom  of  it,  was 
a jealous  timorous  fancy  he  had,  that  some  of  the 
Egyptians  would  be  so  charmed  Avith  the  beauty  of 
SfTrai,  (Egypt  producing  few  such  beauties,)  that  if 
they  should  know  he  was  her  husband,  they  would 
find  some  Avay  or  other  to  take  him  off,  that  they 
might  marry  her.  He  presumes  they  would  rather 
be  guilty  of  murder  than  adultery;  such  a heinous 
crime  was  it  then  accounted,  and  such  a sacred  re- 
gard was  paid  to  the  marriage-bond:  hence  he  in- 
fers, without  any  good  reason.  They  will  kill  me. 
Note,  The  fear  of  man  brings  a snare,  and  m ny  arc 
driven  to  sin  by  the  dread  of  death,  Luke  12.  A,  5. 
The  grace  Abram  was  most  eminent  for,  was,  faith; 
and  yet  he  thus  fell,  through  unbelief  and  distrust 
of  the  Divine  Providence,  even  after  God  had  ap- 
peared to  him  twice.  Alas,  what  will  become  cf  the 
willows,  when  the  cedars  are  thus  shaken.^ 

1 4.  And  it  came  to  pass  that  when  Abram 
was  come  into  E^pt,  the  Egyptians  behold 
the  woman,  that  she  was  very  fair.  1 5.  'The 
princes  also  of  Pharaoh  saw  her,  and  com- 
mended her  before  Pharaoh  ; and  the  woman 
v\  as  taken  into  Pharaoh’s  house.  16.  And 
he  entreated  Abram  well  for  her  sake : 
and  he  had  sheep,  and  oxen,  and  he-asscs, 
and  men-servants,  and  maid-servant.^,  and 
she-asscs,  and  camels.  17.  And  the  Lohd 
plaioued  Pharaoh  and  his  house  with  srent 
plagues,  because  of  Sarai  Abram’s  wife. 
! 6.  And  Pharaoh  calEd  Abram,  and  said, 
i What  is  this  that  thou  hast  done  unto  me  ? 
i Why  didst  thou  not  tell  me  that  she  teas  thy 
I wife  ? 19.  Whv  saidst  thou.  She  is  my  sis- 

' ter  ? So  I might  have  taken  her  to  me  to 
i wife : now  tlu;r(‘forc  behold  thv  wife,  take 


89 


GENESIS,  XIII. 


^ler,  and  go  thy  way.  20.  And  Pharaoh 
commanded  his  men  concerning  him ; and 
they  sent  him  away,  and  his  wife,  and  all 
that  he  had. 

Here  is, 

I.  The  dang  v Sarai  was  in  of  having  her  chastity 
violated  by  the  king  of  Egypt.  And,  without  doubt, 
the  peril  of  sin  is  the  greatest  peril  we  can  be  in. 
P/iarao/i’s  princes  (his  pimps  rather)  saw  her,  and 
observing  what  a comely  woman  she  was,  they  com- 
mended her  before  Pharaoh;  not  for  that  which  was 
reallv  her  praise — her  virtue  and  modesty,  her  faith 
and  piety,  (those  were  no  excellencies  in  their  eyes,) 
but  for  her  beauty,  which  they  thought  too  good  for 
the  embraces  of  a subject,  and  worthy  the  admira- 
tion of  the  king;  and  she  was  presently  taken  into 
Pharaoh’s  house,  as  Esther  into  the  seraglio  of  Aha- 
suerus,  (Esth.  2.  8.)  in  order  to  her  being  taken  into 
his  bed.  Now  we  must  not  look  upon  Sarai  as 
standing  fair  for  preferment,  but  as  entering  into 
temptation;  and  the  occasions  of  it  were,  her  own 
beauty,  which  is  a snare  to  many,  and  Abram’s 
equivocation,  which  is  a sin  that  commonly  is  an  in- 
let to  much  sin.  While  Sarai  was  in  this  danger, 
Abram  fared  the  better  for  her  sake;  Pharaoh  gave 
him  sheep,  and  oxen,  &c.  (x^.  16.)  to  gain  his  con- 
sent with  her  whom  they  supposed  his  sister.  We 
cannot  think  that  Abram  expected  this  when  he 
came  down  into  Egypt,  much  less  that  he  had  an 
eye  to  it  when  he  denied  his  wife;  but  God  brought 
good  out  of  evil.  And  thus  the  wealth  of  the  sinner 
proves,  some  way  or  other,  laid  up  for  the  just. 

II.  The  deliverance  of  Sarai  from  this  danger. 
For  if  God  did  not  deliver  us,  many  a time,  by  pre- 
rogative, out  of  those  straits  and  distresses  which 
we  bring  ourselves  into  by  our  own  sin  and  folly,  and 
which  therefore  we  could  not  expect  any  deliver- 
ance from  by  promise,  we  should  soon  be  mined, 
nay,  we  had  been  ruined  long  before  this.  He  deals 
not  with  us  according  to  our  deserts. 

1.  God  chastised  Pharaoh,  and  so  prevented  the 
progress  of  his  sin.  Note,  Those  are  happy  chas- 
tisements, that  hinder  us  in  a sinful  way,  and  effec- 
tually bring  us  to  our  duty,  and  particularly  to 
the  duty  of  restoring  that  which  we  have  wrongfully 
taken  and  detained.  Observe,  Not  Pharaoh  only, 
but  his  house,  was  plagued;  probably,  those  princes 
especially  that  had  commended  Sarai  to  Pharaoh. 
Note,  Partners  in  sin  are  justly  made  partakers 
in  the  punishment.  Those  that  serve  others’  lusts, 
must  expect  to  share  in  their  plagues.  We  are 
not  told  particularly  what  these  plagues  were ; but, 
doubtless,  there  was  something  in  the  plagues  them- 
selves, or  some  explication  added  to  them,  sufficient 
to  con\  ince  them  that  it  was  for  Sarai’s  sake  that 
they  were  thus  plagued. 

2.  Pharaoh  reproved  Abram,  and  then  dismissed 
him  with  respect. 

(1.)  The  reproof  was  calm,  but  very  just;  What 
is  this  that  thou  hast  done?  What  an  improper 
thing!  How  unbecoming  a wise  and  good  man! 
Note,  If  those  that  profess  religion,  do  that  which 
is  unfair  and  disingenuous,  especially  if  they  sav 
!hat  which  borders  upon  a lie,  they  must  expect  to 
le^r  of  it,  and  have  reason  to  thank  those  that  will 
tell  them  of  it.  We  find  a prophet  of  the  Lord 
justly  reproved  and  upbraided  by  a heathen  ship- 
master, Jon.  1.  6.  Pharaoh  reasons  with  ,him. 
Why  didst  thou  not  tell  me  that  she  was  thy  wife? 
Intimating,  that  if  he  had  known  that,  he  would  not 
have  taken  her  into  his  house.  Note,  It  is  a fault 
too  common  among  good  people,  to  entertain  sus- 
picions of  others  beyond  what  there  is  cause  for. 
We  have  often  found  more  of  virtue,  honour,  and 
conscience,  in  some  people,  than  we  thought  they 

Voi.  i — M 


possessed;  and  it  ought  to  be  a pleasure  to  us  to  be 
thus  disappointed,  as  Abram  was  here,  who  found 
Pharaoh  to  be  a better  man  than  he  expected. 
Charity  teaches  us  to  hope  the  best. 

(2.)  The  dismission  was  kind,  and  very  generous. 
He  returned  him  his  wife  without  offering  any  inju- 
ry to  her  honour,  v.  19,  Behold  thy  wife,  take  her. 
Note,  Those  that  would  prevent  sin,  must  lemove 
the  temptation,  or  get  out  of  the  way  of  it.  He  also 
sent  him  away  in  peace,  and  was  so  far  from  any 
design  to  kill  him,  as  he  apprehended,  that  he  took 
particular  care  of  him.  Note,  We  often  perplex 
and  insnare  ourselves  with  fears  which  soon  appear 
to  have  been  altogether  groundless.  \\'e  often  fear, 
where  no  fear  is.  We  fear  the  fury  of  the  op- 
pressor, as  though  he  were  ready  to  destroy,  when 
really  there  is  no  danger,  Isa.  51.  13.  It  had  been 
more  for  Abram’s  credit  and  comfort,  to  have  told 
the  truth  at  first;  for,  after  all,  honesty  is  the  best 
policy.  Nay,  it  is  said,  v.  20,  Pharaoh  command- 
ed his  meji  concerning  him;  that  is,  [1.]  He  charged 
them  net  to  injure  him  in  any  thing.  Note,  It  is 
not  enough  for  those  in  authority,  that  they  do  not 
hurt  themselves,  but  they  must  restrain  their  ser- 
vants, and  those  about  them,  from  doing  hurt.  Or, 
[2.]  He  appointed  them,  when  Abram  was  disposed 
to  return  home,  after  the  famine,  to  conduct  him 
safe  out  of  the  country,  as  his  convoy.  Probably,  he 
was  alarmed  by  the  plagues,  v.  17,  and  inferred 
from  tliem,  that  Abram  was  a particular  favourite 
of  Heaven,  and  therefore,  through  fear  of  their  re- 
turn, took  special  care  he  should  receive  no  injury 
in  his  country. 

Note,  God  has  often  raised  up  friends  for  his  peo 
pie,  by  making  men  know  that  it  is  at  their  peril  if 
they  burt  them.  It  is  a dangerous  thing  to  offend 
Christ’s  little  ones,  Matth.  18.  6.  To  this  passage, 
among  others,  the  Psalmist  refers,  Ps.  105.  13.  .15. 
He  reproved  kings  for  their  sakes,  saying,  Touch 
not  mine  anointed.  Perhaps,  if  Pharaoh  had  not 
sent  him  away,  he  would  have  been  tempted  to  stay 
in  Egypt,  and  to  forget  the  land  of  promise.  N ite. 
Sometimes  God  makes  use  of  the  enemies  of  1 is 
people,  to  convince  them,  and  remind  them,  that 
this  world  is  not  their  rest,  but  that  they  must  think 
of  departing.  Lastly,  Observe  a resemblance  be- 
tween this  deliverance  of  Abram  out  of  Egypt,  and 
the  deliverance  of  his  seed  thence : 430  years  after 
Abram  went  into  Egypt  on  occasion  of  a famine, 
they  went  thither,  on  occasion  of  a famine  also;  he 
was  fetched  out  with  great  plagues  on  Pharaoh,  so 
were  they;  as  Abram  was  dismissed  by  Pharaoh, 
and  enriched  with  the  spoil  of  the  E^^ptians,  so 
were  they.  For  God’s  care  of  his  people  is  the 
same  yesterday,  to-day,  and  for  ever. 

CHAP.  XIII. 

In  this  chapter,  we  have  a further  account  concerning 
Abram.  I.  In  general,  of  his  condition  and  behaviour  in 
the  land  of  promise,  which  was  now  the  land  of  his  pil- 
grimage. 1.  His  removes,  v.  1,  3,  4,  18.  2.  His  riches, 

V.  2,  3.  His  devotion,  v.  4,  18.  II.  A particular  ac- 
count of  a quarrel  that  happened  between  him  and  Lot. 
1.  The  unhappy  occasion  of  their  strife,  v.  5,  6.  2.  The 

parties  concerned  in  the  strife,  with  the  aggravation  of 
it,  v.  7.  HI.  The  making  up  of  the  quarrel,  by  the  pru- 
dence of  Abram,  v.  8,  9.  IV.  Lot’s  departure  fVom 
Abram  to  the  plain  of  Sodom,  v.  10.  .12.  V.  God’s  ap- 
pearance to  .\bram,  to  confirm  the  promise  of  the  la^ 
of  Canaan  to  him,  v.  14.  .17. 

land  Abram  went  up  out  of  Ee:ypt, 
he,  and  his  wife,  and  all  that  he  nad, 
and  Lot  with  him,  into  the  south.  2.  And 
Abram  ims  very  rich  in  cattle,  in  silver,  and 
in  gold.  3.  And  he  went  on  his  journies 
from  the  south  even  to  Beth-el,  unto  the 
place  where  his  tent  had  been  at  the  be- 


90 


GENESIS,  Xlll. 


ginning,  between  Beth-el  and  Hai ; 4. 

Unto  the  place  of  the  altar  which  he  had 
made  theie  at  the  first : and  diere  Abram 
called  on  the  name  of  the  Lord. 

Here  is, 

I.  Abram’s  return  out  of  Egypt,  t'.  1.  He  came 
himself,  and  brought  all  his.  with  him,  back  again  to 
Canaan.  Note,  Though  there  may  be  occasion  to 
go  sometimes  into  places  of  temptation,  yet  we 
must  hasten  out  of  them  as  soon  as  possible.  See 
Ruth  1.  6. 

II.  His  wealth,  v.  2,  He  ivas  very  rich.  He  was 

very  heavy,  so  the  Hebrew  word  signifies.  For 
riches  are  a burthen,  and  they  that  v'ill  be  rich,  do 
but  load  themselves  with  thick  clay,  Hab.  2.  6. 
There  is  a burthen  of  care  in  getting  them,  fear 
in  keeping  them,  temptation  in  using  them,  guilt  in 
abusing  tliem,  sorrow  in  losing  them,  and  a bur- 
then of  account,  at  last,  to  be  given  up  concerning 
them.  Great  possessions  do  but  make  men  heavy 
and  unwieldy.  Abram  was  not  only  rich  in  faith 
and  good  works,  and  in  the  promises,  l)ut  he  was 
rich  in  cattle,  and  in  silver  and  gold.  Note,  1.  God 
m his  providence,  sometimes  makes  good  men  rich 
men,  and  teaches  them  how  to  abound,  as  well  as 
now  to  suffer  want.  2.  The  riches  cf  good  men  are 
the  fruits  of  God’s  blessing.  God  had  said  to 
Abram,  I will  bless  thee;  and  that  blessing  made 
nim  rich  without  sorrow.  Prov.  10.  22.  3.  True 

piety  will  very  well  consist  with  great  prosperity. 
Though  it  is  hard  for  a rich  man  to  get  to  heaven, 
yet  it  is  not  impossible,  Mark  10.  23,  24.  Abram 
was  ver)'  rich,  and  yet  very  religious.  Nay,  as 
piety  is  a friend  to  outward  prosperity,  1 Tim.  4. 
8,  so  outward  prosperity,  if  well  managed,  is  an  or- 
nament to  piety,  and  an  opportunity  of  doing  so 
much  the  more  good. 

III.  His  removal  to  Beth-el,  v.  3,  4.  Thither  he 
went,  not  only  because  there  he  had  formerly  had 
nis  tent,  and  he  was  willing  to  go  among  his  old  ac- 
quaintance; but  liecause  there  he  had,  formerly,  had 
nis  altar:  and,  though  the  altar  was  gone,  (proba- 
bly, he  himself  having  taken  it  down,  when  he  left 
the  place,  lest  it  should  be  polluted  by  the  idola- 
trous Canaanites,)  yet  he  came  to  the  place  of  the 
altar,  either  to  revive  the  remembrance  of  the 
sweet  communion  he  had  had  with  God  in  that 
place,  or,  perhaps,  to  pay  the  vows  he  had  there 
made  to  God  when  he  undertook  his  journey  into 
Egypt.  Eong  afterward,  God  sent  Jacob  to  this 
same  place,  on  that  evrand,'“c/n  35.  1,  Go  tip  to 
Beth-el,  where,  thou  vowedst  the  vow.  We  have 
need  to  be  reminded,  and  sliould  take  all  occas’ons 
to  remind  ourselves,  of  our  solemn  vows;  and  per- 
haps the  place  Avhere  they  were  made,  may  help  to 
bring  them  fresh  to  mind,  and  it  may  therefore  do 
us  good, 

IV.  Plis  devotion  there.  His  altar  was  gone,  so 
that  he  could  not  offer  s icrihee;  but  he  called  on  the 
name  o f the  Lord,  as  he  h ad  done,  ch.  12.  8.  Note, 

1.  All  God’s  pec.jjle  are  pian'ing  ];eo])le.  You  may 
as  soon  find  a li\  ing  man  without  breath,  as  a living 
Christian  without  pr  iver.  2.  'Fhose  that  would  ap- 
prove theniselves  iipright  with  their  God,  must  l)e 
constant  and  persevering  in  the  services  of  religion. 
Abram  did  lu  t leave  his  religion  behind  him  in 
Egypt,  as  m niv  do  in  their  travels.  3.  When  we 
cannot  do  nvhat  we  would,  wc  must  make  conscience 
of  doing  what  we  ran,  in  the  acts  of  devotion. 
W’hen  we  want  an  altar,  let  us  not  be  wanting  in 
prayer,  l)ut,  wherever  we  are,  call  on  the  name  of 
the  Lord. 

5.  Alul  Lot  also,  which  went  with  Abram, 
nacl  flocks,  and  herds,  and  tents.  6.  And 
.he  land  was  not  able  to  bear  them,  that 


they  might  dwell  together:  for  their  sub- 
stance w^as  great,  so  that  they  could  not 
dwell  together.  7.  And  there  was  a striti 
between  the  herdmen  of  Abram’s  cattle 
and  the  herdmen  of  Lot’s  cattle : and  llie 
Canaanite  and  the  Perizzite  dw'elled  then 
in  the  land.  8.  And  Abram  said  unto 
Lot,  Let  there  be  no  strife,  1 pray  thee,  be- 
tw'een  me  and  thee,  and  between  my  herd- 
men  and  thy  herdmen  ; for  we  be  brethren. 
9.  Is  not  the  whole  land  before  thee  ? Sepa- 
rate thyself,  I pray  thee,  from  me : if  thou 
-wilt  take  the  left-hand,  then  I will  go  to  the 
right;  or  if  thou  de-part  to  the  right-hand, 
then  I will  go  to  the  left. 

We  have  here  an  unhappy  falling-out  between 
Abram  and  Lot,  who  had  hitherto  been  inseparable 
companions;  (see  v.  1,  and  ch.  12.  4,)  but  now 
parted. 

I.  The  occasion  of  their  quarrel  was  their  riches. 

We  read,  v.  2,  how  rich  Abram  was;  now  here  we 
are  told,  v.  5,  that  Lot  which  went  with  Mram, 
was  rich  too;  God  blessed  him  with  riches,  because 
he  went  wdth  Abram.  Note,  1.  It  is  good  being  in 
good  company,  and  going  with  those  with  whe  m 
God  is,  Zech.  8.  23.  2.  Those  that  are  partners 

with  God’s  people  in  their  obedience  and  sufferings, 
shall  be  sharers  with  them  in  their  joys  and  Cf  m- 
forts,  Isa.  66.  10.  Now,  they  both  being  very  rich., 
the  land  was  not  able  to  bear  them  that  they  might 
dwell  comfortably  and  peaceably  together.  So  that 
their  riches  may  be  considered,  (1.)  As  setting  them 
at  a distance  one  from  another;  because  the  place 
was  too  strait  for  them,  and  they  had  not  room  f r 
their  stock,  it  was  necessary  they  should  li\e  asun- 
der. Note,  Every  comfort  in  this  world  has  its 
cross  attending  it.  Business  is  a comfort:  but  it  lias 
this  inconvenience  in  it,  that  it  allows  us  not  the  so- 
ciety of  those  we  love,  so  often,  nor  so  k^ng,  as  we 
could  wish.  (2.)  As  setting  them  at  variance  one 
with  another.  Note,  Riches  are  often  an  ( cc;>si('n 
of  strife  and  contention  among  relations  and  neii’li- 
bours.  This  is  one  of  those  foolish  and  hurtf  I 
lusts,  which  they  that  will  be  rich,  fall  into,  1 Tim. 
6.  9.  Riches  not  only  afford  matter  for  contentir n, 
and  are  the  things  most  commonly  striven  ab(ut; 
but  they  also  stir  up  a spirit  of  contention,  iiy 
making  people  proud  and  covetous.  Meum  and 
tuum — Mine  and  Thine,  are  the  gi-eat  make-Iiatcs 
of  the  world.  Poverty  and  travail,  wants  and  wan- 
derings, could  not  separate  between  Abram  and 
Lot;  but  riches  did  it.  Friends  are  soon  lost;  l;ut 
God  is  a Friend  from  whose  love  neither  the  height 
of  prosperity,  nor  the  depth  of  adversity,  shall  sepa- 
rate us. 

II.  The  immediate  instniments  of  the  ciinncl 
were  their  servants.  The  strife  began  between  the 
herdmen  of  Abram's  cattle,  and  the  herdmen  cf 
Lot's  cattle,  v.  7.  They  strove,  it  is  probable, 
which  should  have  the  better  pasture,  or  the  liettei- 
water;  and  both  interested  their  masters  in  the 
cjuarrel.  Note,  Bad  servants  often  m:ike  a gre;it 
deal  of  mischief  in  families,  by  their  pride  and  pas 
sion,  their  lying,  slandering,  and  tale-bearing.  It 
is  a very  wicked  thing  for  servants  to  do  ill  offices 
between  relations  and  neighbours,  and  to  sow  dis- 
cord; those  that  do  so,  are  the  Devil’s  agents,  and 
their  masters’  worst  enemies. 

III.  The  aggravation  of  the  quarrel  was,  that  the 
Canaanite  and  the  Perizzite  dwelled  then  in  the  land, 
this  made  the  quarrel,  1.  Very  (/a7/^c7-07/s;  if  Abram 
and  Lot  cannot  agree  to  feed  their  flocks  togethi  r, 


91 


GENESIS,  XIII. 


it  is  well  if  the  common  enemy  do  not  come  upon 
them,  and  plunder  them  both.  Note,  The  division 
of  families  and  churches  often  proves  the  min  of 
them.  2.  Very  scandalous.  No  doubt,  the  eyes 
of  all  the  neighbours  were  upon  them,  especially 
because  of  the  singularity  of  their  religion,  and  the 
extraordinary  sanctity  they  professed;  and  notice 
would  soon  be  taken  of  this  quarrel,  and  improve- 
ment made  of  it,  to  their  reproach,  by  the  Canaan- 
ites  and  Perizzites.  Note,  The  quarrels  of  pro- 
fessors are  the  reproach  of  profession,  and  give 
occasion,  as  much  as  any  thing,  to  the  enemies  of 
the  Lord  to  blaspheme. 

IV.  The  making  up  of  this  quarrel  was  very- 
happy.  It  is  best  to  preserve  the  peace,  that  it  be 
not  broken ; but  the  next  best  is,  if  differences  do 
happen,  with  all  speed  to  accommodate  them,  and 
quench  the  fire  that  is  broken  out.  'I'he  motion  for 
staying  this  strife  was  made  by  Abram,  though  he 
was  the  senior  and  superior  relation. 

1.  His  petition  for  peace  was  very  affectionate. 
Let  there  be  no  strife,  I firay  thee.  Abram  here 
shows  himself  to  be  a man,  (1.)  Of  a coo/  spirit, 
that  had  the  command  of  his  passion,  and  knew 
how  to  turn  away  wrath  with  a soft  answer.  Those 
that  would  keep  the  peace,  must  never  render  rail- 
ing for  railing.  (2.)  Of  a condescending  spirit;  lie 
was  willing  to  beseech  even  his  inferior  to  be  at 
peace,  and  made  the  first  overture  of  reconciliation. 
Conquerors  reckon  it  their  glory  to  give  peace  by- 
power;  and  it  is  no  less  so  to  give  peace  by  the 
meekness  of  wisdom.  Note,’The  people  of  God 
should  always  approve  themselves  a peaceable  peo- 
ple; whatever  others  are  for,  they'  must  be  for 
peace. 

2.  His  plea  for  peace  was  very  cogent.  (1.) 

“Let  there  be  no  strife  bet’a>een  me  and  thee.  Let 
the  Canaaiiites  and  Perizzites  contend  about  trifles; 
but  let  not  me  and  thee  fall  out,  who  know  better  : 
things,  and  look  for  a bptter  country.  ” Note,  Pro-  j 
fessors  of  religion  should,  of  all  others,  be  careful  to 
avoid  contention.  Ye  shall  not  be  so,  Luke  22.  26. 
We  have  no  such  custom,  1 Cor.  11.  16.  “Let  j 
there  be  no  strife  between  me  and  thee,  who  have 
lived  together  and  loved  one  another,  so  long.”  | 
Note,  The  remembrance  of  old  friendships  should 
(Quickly  put  an  end  to  new  quarrels  which  at  any  ‘ 
time  happen.  (2.)  Let  it  be  remembered  that  lyc 
are  brethren,  Heb.  We  are  men  brethren;  a double 
argument.  [1.]  We  are  men;  and,  as  men,  we  are  , 
mortal  creatures,  we  may  die  to-morrow,  and  are 
concerned  to  be  found  in  peace;  we  are  rational 
creatures,  and  should  be  ruled  by  reason.  We  are  j 
men,  and  not  brutes,  men,  and  not  children;  we  are  ' 
sociable  creatures,  let  us  be  so  to  the  uttermost.  ! 
[2.]  We  are  brethren.  Men  of  the  same  nature,  j 
of  the  same  kindred  and  family,  of  the  same  re- 
lig-ion;  companions  in  oljedience,  companions  in  ! 
patience.  Note,  The  consideration  of  cur  relation  j 
to  each  other,  as  brethren,  should  ahvays  prevail  to 
moderate  our  p issions,  and  either  to  prevent,  or  put  j 
an  end  to,  our  contentions.  Brethren  should  love  j 
as  brethren.  ■ 

3.  His  proposal  for  peace  was  very  fair.  Manv 
jvho  profess  to  be  for  peace,  yet  will  do  nothing  to- 
wards it;  but  Abram  hereby  approved  himself  a 
real  friend  to  peace,  that  he  proposed  an  unexcep- 
tionable expedient  for  the  preserving  of  it,  v.  9, 

Is  not  the  whole  land  before  thee?  As  if  he  had  said, 
“Why  should  we  quarrel  for  room,  while  there  is 
room  enough  for  us  both?”  (1.)  He  concludes  that 
they  must  part,  and  is  very  desirous  that  they  should 
part  friends.  Sefiarate  thyself,  I firay  thee,  from 
me.  What  could  be  expressed  more  affectionately  ? 
He  does  not  expel  him,  and  force  him  away,  but 
advises  that  he  should  sep  '.rate  himself.  Nor  dees  j 
he  charge  him  to  depart,  but  humbly  desires  him  to  I 


|!  withdraw'.  Note,  Those  that  have  power  to  com- 
! man  !,  yet,  sometimes,  for  love’s  sake,  and  peace 
I sake,  should  rat  her  beseech,  as  Paul  Philemon,  v. 
8,  9.  When  the  great  God  condescends  to  beseech 
us,  we  may  wel  1 afford  to  beseech  one  another,  to 
be  reconciled,  2 Cor.  5.  20.  (2.)  He  offers  him  a 

sufficient  share  )f  the  land  they  were  in.  Though 
God  had  prom  sed  Abram  to  give  this  land  to  his 
seed,  cn.  12.  7,  and  it  does  not  appear  that  ever  any 
such  pi  amise  was  made  to  Let,  which  Abram  might 
have  insisted  on,  to  the  total  exclusion  of  Lot;  yet 
he  allo^/s  him  to  come  in  partner  with  him,  ^d 
tenders  an  equal  share  to  one  that  had  not  an  equal 
Tight,  and  will  noi  make  God’s  promise  to  patronise 
his  quarrel,  nor  under  the  protection  of  that,  put 
any  hardship  upon  his  kinsman.  (3.)  He  gives  him 
his  choice,  and  offers  to  take  up  with  his  leavings; 
If  thou  wilt  rake  the  left  hand,  I will  go  to  the 
right.  1‘here  was  all  tlie  reason  in  the  world,  that 
Abram  should  choose  first;  yet  he  recedes  from  his 
right.  Note,  It  is  a noble  conquest,  to  be  willing  to 
yield  for  jieace  sake;  it  is  the  conquest  of  ourselves, 
and  our  o\/n  pride  and  passion,  Matth.  5.  39,  40.  It 
is  not  only  the  punctilios  of  honour,  but  even  interest 
itself,  that,  in  many  cases,  must  be  sacrificed  to 
peace. 

1 0.  And  Lot  lifted  up  his  eyes,  and  be- 
held all  the  plain  of  Jordan,  that  it  was  well- 
watered  evei'y  where,  before  the  Lord  de- 
stroyed Sodom  and  Gomorrah,  tvcii  as  the 
garden  of  the  Lord,  like  the  land  of  Egy'pt, 
as  thou  comest  unto  Z oar.  11.  Then  Lot 
chose  him  all  the  plain  of  Jordan  ; and  Lot 
journeyed  east : and  they  separated  them- 
selves the  one  from  the  other.  12.  Abram 
dwelled  in  the  land  of  Canaan,  and  Lot 
dwelled  in  the  cities  of  the  plain,  and  pitch- 
ed his  tent  toward  Sodom.  13.  But  the 
men'of  Sodom  icere  wicked,  and  sinners  be- 
•fore  the  Lord  exceedingly. 

We  have  here  the  choice  that  Lot  made  when 
he  parted  fiom  Abram;  upon  this  occasion,  one 
wou'd  have  expected,  1.  That  he  should  have  ex- 
pressed an  unwillingness  to  part  from  Abram,  and 
that,  at  least,  he  should  ha\  e done  it  with  re’.uct  .n- 
cy.  2.  That  he  shoidd  have  been  so  civil  as  to  ha\  e 
remitted  the  choice  back  again  to  Abram.  But  we 
find  not  any  instance  of  deference  or  respect  to  his 
uncle,  in  the  whole  management.  Abram  having 
offered  liim  the  choice,  without  compliment  he  ac- 
cepted it,  and  made  his  election.  Passion  and  sel- 
fishne.ss  make  men  nide.  Now,  in  the  choice  which 
Lot  made,  we  may  observe, 

I.  How  much  he  had  an  eye  to  the  goodness  of 
the  land.  He  behn'd  all  the  plain  of  Jordan,  the  flat 
counti-y  in  which  Sodom  stood,  that  it  was  admira- 
biy  well  warrred  ..very  where,  (and  perhaps  the 
strife  had  been  about  water,  which  made  him  par- 
ticularly fond  cf  the  con\  enience,)  and  so  Lot  chose 
him  all  that  plain,  v.  10,  11.  That  vallev  which 
w.is  like  the  garden  of  Eden  itself,  now  yielded  him 
a nrost  pleas  mt  prospect;  it  was,  in  his  eye,  beauti 
ful  for  situation,  the  joy  of  the  whole  eirth;  and 
therefore  he  doubted  not  that  it  would  yield  him  a 
comfortable  settlement,  and  that  in  such  a fruitful 
soil  he  should  certainly  thrive,  and  grow  \ eiy  rich; 
and  this  was  all  he  looked  at.  But  what  came  cf  it? 
Why,  the  next  news  we  hear  of  him,  is,  that  he  is 
in  the  briers  among  them,  he  and  his  carried  cap- 
tive; while  he  lived  among  tliem,  he  vexed  his 
righteous  soul  with  their  oonr  ers  'tion,  and  nevei 
had  a good  day  with  them,  till,  at  last,  God  fired  the 


92 


GENESIS,  Xlll. 


town  over  his  head,  and  forced  him  to  the  mountain 
for  safety,  who  chose  the  pLun  for  we  dtli  and  plea- 
sure. Note,  Sensu.d  clioices  ai-e  sinful  choices,  and 
seldom  speed  well.  Those  who  in  choosing  rela- 
tions, callings,  dwellings,  or  settlements,  are  guided 
wid  governed  by  the  lusts  of  the  flesh,  the  lusts  of 
the  eye,  or  the  pride  of  life,  and  consult  not  the  in- 
'£rests  of  their  souls  and  their  religion,  cannot  ex- 
pect God’s  presence  with  them,  nor  his  blessing 
ipon  them,  but  are  commonly  dis.ippointed  even  in 
.jiat  which  they  piincipally  aimed  at,  and  miss  of 
I’.iat  which  they  promised  themselves  satisfaction  in. 
In  all  our  choices,  this  principle  should  over-rule  us. 
That  this  is  the  best  for  us,  which  is  best  for  our 
■iou's. 

II.  How  little  he  considered  the  badnesn  of  the 
mhabitants.  But  the  men  of  Sodom  nuere  wicked, 
z>.  13.  Note,  1.  Though  all  are  sinners,  yet  some 
ai'e  greater  sinners  than  others;  the  men  of  Sodom 
were  sinners  of  the  first  magnitude,  sinnem  before 
die  Lord,  tluhis,  impudent  daring  sinners;  they  were 
so,  to  a pros  ei’b;  hence  we  read  of  those  that  declare 
their  sin  as  Sodom,  they  hide  it  not,  Isa.  3.  9.  2. 

That  some  sinners  are  the  worse  for  Us  ing  in  a good 
land.  So  the  Sodomites  were;  for  this  was  the  ini- 
quity of  Sodom,  firide,  fullness  of  bread,  and  abun- 
dance of  idleness  ; and  all  these  were  supported  by 
t le  great  plenty  their  country  afforded,  Ezek.  16. 
49.  Thus  the  fii'&s/ierity  of  fools  destroys  them. 
3.  That  God  often  gives  gre.'t  plenty  to  great  sin- 
ners. Filthy  Sodomites  dwell  in  a city,  a fruitful 
plain,  while  faithful  Abram  and  his  pious  family 
dwell  in  tents  upon  the  barren  mountains.  4. 
When  wickedness  is  come  to  the  height,  ruin  is  not 
f ir  off'.  Abounding  sins  are  sure  presages  of  ap- 
proachingjudgments.  Now  Lot’s  coming,  to  dwell 
among  the  Sodomites  may  be  considered,  (^1.)  As 
a gve  t mercy  to  them,  and  a likely  means  of  bring- 
ing them  to  repentance;  for  now  they  had  a pro- 
phet among  them,  and  a preacher  of  righteousness; 
if  they  had  he  .rkened  to  him,  they  might  have 
been  reformed,  and  the  ruin  prevented.  Note,  God 
sends  preachers,  before  he  sends  destroyers;  for  he 
is  not  willing  that  any  should  perish.  (2.)  Asa 
great  affliction  to  Lot,  who  w s not  on!y  grieved  to 
see  their  wickedness,  (2  Pet.  2.  7,  8.)  but  rvas  mo- 
lested and  persecuted  by  them,  because  he  would 
not  do  as  they  did.  Note,  It  has  often  been  the 
vexatious  lot  of  good  men,’  to  live  among  wicked 
neighbours,  to  sojourn  in  Mesech,  (Ps.  120.  5.)  and 
it  cannot  but  be  the  more  grievous,  if,  as  Lot  here, 
tliey  have  brought  it  upon  themselves  by  an  unad- 
vised choice. 

14.  And  the  Lord  said  unto  Abram,  af- 
ter that  Lot  was  separated  from  him,  Lift 
up  now  thine  eyes,  and  look  from  the  place 
where  thou  art,  north-ward,  and  south-ward, 
and  east-ward,  and  west-ward:  15.  Eor 
all  the  land  which  thou  seest,  to  thee  will  I 
f^ive  it,  and  to  thy  seed  for  ever.  16.  And  I 
will  make  thy  seed  as  tlie  dust  of  the  earth  : 
so  that  if  a man  can  number  the  dust  of  the 
earth,  then  shall  thy  seed  also  be  numbered. 
17.  Arise,  walkthrough  the  land  in  the 
length  of  it  and  in  the  breadth  of  it ; for  I 
will  give  it  unto  thee.  1 8.  Then  Abram  re- 
moved his  tent,  and  came  and  dwelt  in  the 
olain  of  Mature,  which  is  in  Hebron,  and 
(milt  there  an  altar  unto  the  Lord. 

We  have  here  an  account  of  a gracious  visit 
♦hich  God  made  to  Aliram,  to  confirm  the  promise 
*>,  him  and  his.  Observe, 


I I.  When  it  was  that  God  renewed  and  ratifiet* 
the  promise;  ayfer  that  Lot  was  separated  from  him 
tliat  is,  1.  After  the  quarrel  was  over;  for  those  arf 
best  prepared  fer  the  vis'ts  of  divine  grace,  whost 
spirits  are  calm  and  sedate,  and  not  ruffled  with  anj 
p..ssion.  2.  After  Abram’s  humble  self-denyint 
condescensions  to  Let  for  the  preserving  of  peace; ' 
was  then  that  God  came  to  him  with  this  token  cf 
his  fa\  our.  Note,  God  will  abundantly  make  up  ir 
spiritual  peace,  what  we  lose  for  the  preserving  of 
neighbourly  peace.  When  Abram  had  willingly 
offered  Lot  one  half  cf  his  right,  God  came,  anc 
confirmed  the  whole  to  him.  3.  After  he  had  lost 
the  comfortable  society  of  his  kinsman,  by  whose 
departure  his  hands  were  weakened,  and  his  heai-i 
saddened;  then  God  came  to  him  with  these  good 
words,  and  comfortable  words.  Note,  Communicr 
with  God  may,  iJt  any  time,  serve  to  make  up  the 
want  of  conversation  with  our  friends;  when  our  re- 
lations are  separated  from  us,  yet  God  is  not.  4. 
After  Lot  had  chosen  that  jileasant,  fruitful  vale, 
and  was  gone  to  take  possession  of  it;  lest  Abram 
should  be  tempted  to  envy  him,  and  to  repent  that 
he  had  given  him  the  choice,  God  comes  to  him, 
and  assures  him  that  what  he  had,  should  remain  to 
him  and  his  heirs  for  ex<er  ; so  that  though  I.ot  per- 
haps had  the  better  land,  yet  Abram  had  the  better 
title  ; Lot  had  the  paradise,  such  as  it  was,  but 
Abram  had  the  promise;  and  the  event  seen  made 
it  appear  that,  however  it  seen.ed  now,  Abram  had 
really  the  better  part.  See  Job  22.  20.  Gcd  own- 
ed Abram  after  h's  strife  with  Lot,  as  the  churches 
did  Paul  after  his  strife  with  Barnabas,  Acts  15. 
39,  40. 

II.  The  promises  themselves  which  Gcd  new 
comforted  and  enriched  Abram  with.  Two  tilings 
he  assures  him  of;  a good  land,  and  a numerous 
issue  to  enjoy'  it. 

1.  Here  is  the  grant  of  a good  land,  aland  fameus 
above  all  lands,  for  it  was  to  be  the  holy  land,  and 
Immanuel’s  land;  this  is  the  land  here  spoken  cf. 
(1.)  God  here  shows  Abram  the  land,  as  he  h..d 
promised,  {ch.  12.  1.)  and  afterward  he  showed  it 
to  Moses  from  the  top  of  Pisgah.  Lot  had  lifted  up 
his  eyes,  and  beheld  the  plain  of  Jordan,  (x'.  It  . j 
and  he  was  gone  to  enjoy  what  he  saw:  “ Ceme,'’ 
says  God  to  Abram,  “now  lift  thou  up  thine  eyes, 
and  look,  and  see  thine  own.'"  Note,  That  which 
God  has  to  show  us,  is  infinitely  better  and  more  de- 
sirable than  any  thing  that  the  world  has  to  offer  to 
our  view.  The  prospects  of  an  eye  of  fahh  are 
much  more  rich  and  beautiful  than  those  of  an  eye 
of  sense.  Those  for  whom  the  heavenly  Canaan  is 
designed  in  the  other  world,  have  sometimes,  by 
faith,  a comfortable  prospect  of  it  in  their  piesent 
state;  for  we  look  at  the  things  that  are  not  seen, 
as  real,  though  distant.  (2.)  He  secures  this  land 
to  him  and  his  seed  for  ever  ; {v.  15. ) To  thee  will  I 
give  it : and  again  (r.  17.)  I will  give  it  unto  thee  ; 
every  repetition  of  the  pi’omise  is  a I’atification  cf  .t. 
To  thee  and  thy  seed,  not  to  Lot  and  his  seed;  they 
were  not  to  have  their  inhei'itance  in  this  land,  and 
thei'efoie  Pi'ovidence  so  order  ed  it,  that  he  should 
be  separated  from  Abram  fir’st,  arrd  then  the  g^-ant 
should  be  confirmed  to  him  and  his  seed;  thus  God 
often  brings  good  out  of  evil,  and  makes  men’s  s'trs 
and  follies  subserwient  to  his  owrr  wise  and  holy  cevtn- 
sels.  To  thee  and  thy  seed ; to  thee,  to  sojouni  as  a 
str-anger;  to  thy  seed,  to  dwell  and  rarle  in  as  pr  eprie- 
tors.  To  thee]  that  is,  to  thy  seed.  The  gi'arrt.ng 
it  to  him  and  his  for  ever*,  intimates  that  it  was 
typical  of  the  heavenly  Canaan,  whiclr  is  given  to 
the  spiritual  seed  of  Abi-am  for  ever-,  Heb.  11.  14. 
(3.)  He  giv'es  him  livery  arrd  seisin  of  it,  though  it 
was  a reversion,  z>.  17,  “ .drise,  walk  through  the 
land.  Enter  and  take  possession,  survey  the  par 
I cels,  and  it  will  appear  better  than  upon  a distarv; 


GENESIS,  XIV.  9:J 


prospect.”  Note,  God  is  willing  more  abundantly' 
to  show  to  the  heirs  of  promise  the  immutability  of  | 
his  covenant,  and  tbe  inestimable  w'oith  of  covenant-  ' 
bless  ngs.  Go,  vialk  about  Zion,  Ps.  48.  12.  i 

2.  riere  is  the  promise  of  a numerous  issue  to  re-  ' 

[ilenish  this  good  land,  so  that  it  should  never  be  I 
ost  for  wiuit  of  heirs,  v.  16,  Iivill  make  thy  seed  as  j 
the  dust  oj  the  earth,  that  is,  “ They  shall  mcrease 
incredib’y*  arid,  take  them  altogether,  they  sh  ill  be  i 
such  a great  multitude  as  no  man  can  number.”  j 
They  were  so  in  Sodom’s  time,  1 Kings  4.  20.  Ju- 
dah and  Israel  -were  majiy  as  the  sand  which  is  by  ■ 
the  sea  in  multitude.  This  God  here  gives  him  the 
promise  of.  Note,  The  same  God  that  provides  the  I 
inheritance,  provides  the  heirs.  He  that  has  pre-  | 
pared  the  holy  land,  prepares  the  holy  seed;  he  that 
gives  glory,  gives  grace  to  make  meet  for  glory.  i 
Lastly,  We  are  told  what  Abram  did,  when  God  1 
had  thus  confirmed  the  promise  to  him,  t.  12.  1. 

He  removed  his  tent.  God  bid  him  walk  through 
the  land,  that  is,  “ Do  not  think  of  fixing  in  it,  but 
expect  to  be  always  unsettled,  and  walking  through 
it  to  a better  Canaan:”  in  compliance  with  God’s 
will  herein,  he  removes  his  tent,  conforming  himself 
to  the  condition  of  a pilgrim.  2.  He  budded  there 
tn  altar,  in  token  of  hi:  thankfulness  to  God  for  the 
Kind  visit  he  had  made  him.  Note,  When  God 
meets  us  with  gracious  promises,  he  expects  that  we 
should  attend  with  our  humble  praises. 

CHAP.  XTV. 

We  have  four  things  in  the  story  of  this  chapter.  I.  A war 
with  the  king  of  Sodom  and  his  allies,  v.  1 . .11.  II.  The 
captivity  of  Lot  in  that  war,  v.  12.  III.  Abram’s  rescue 
of  Lot  from  that  captivity,  with  the  victory  he  obtained  j 
over  the  conquerors,  v.  13.. 16.  IV.  Abram’s  return  | 
from  that  expedition,  (v.  17.)  with  an  account  of  what  i 
passed,  1.  Between  him  and  the  king  of  Salem,  v.  18  . . 20.  j 
2.  Between  him  and  the  king  of  Sodom,  v.  21 . . 24.  So 
that  here  we  have  that  promise  to  Abram,  in  part,  fulfill- 
ed, that  God  would  maize  his  name  great. 

1.  A ND  it  came  to  pass  in  the  days  of 
Amraphel  king  of  Shinar,  Arioch 
king  of  Ellasar,  Chedorlaomer  king  of  Elam, 
and  Tidal  king  of  nations ; 2.  That  these 
made  war  with  Berah  king  of  Sodom,  and 
with  Birsha  king  of  Gomorrah,  Shinab  king 
of  Admah,  and  Shemeber  king  of  Zeboiim, 
and  the  king  of  Bela,  which  is  Zoar.  3. 
All  these  were  joined  together  in  the  vale  of 
Siddim,  which  is  the  salt-sea.  4.  Twelve 
years  they  served  Chedorlaomer,  and  in  the 
thirteenth  year  they  rebelled.  5.  And  in 
the  fourteenth  year  came  Chedorlaomer, 
and  the  kings  that  were,  with  him,  and  smote 
the  Rephaims  in  Ashteroth-Karnaim,  and 
the  Zuzims  in  Ham,  and  the  Emims  in 
Shaveh-Kiriathaim,  6.  And  the  Horites  in 
I heir  mount  Seir,  unto  El-paran,  which  is  by 
ihe  wilderness.  7.  And  they  returned,  and 
came  to  En-mishpat,  which  is  Kadesh,  and 
smote  all  the  country  of  the  Amalekites,  and 
also  the  Amorites,  that  dwelt  in  Hazezon- 
tamar.  8.  And  there  went  out  the  king  of 
Sodom,  and  the  king  of  Gomorrah,  and  the 
king  of  Admah,  and  the  king  of  Zeboiim, 
auvl  the  king  of  Bela ; (the  same  is  Zoar  ;) 
and  they  joined  battle  with  them  in  the  vale 
)i  Si  l lim  ; 9.  Vith  Chedorlaomer  the  king 


of  Elam,  and  with  Tidal  king  of  nations, 
and  Amraphel  king  of  Shinar,  and  Arioch 
king  of  Ellasar;  four  kings  with  five.  10 
And  the  vale  of  Siddim  teas  full  of  slime- 
pits  ; and  the  kings  of  Sodom  and  Gomor- 
rah fled,  and  fell  there ; and  they  that  re- 
mained fled  to  the  mountain.  1 1.  And  they 
took  all  the  goods  of  Sodom  and  Gomorrah, 
and  all  their  victuals,  and  went  their  Wciy. 
12.  And  they  took  Lot,  Abram’s  brother’s 
son,  who  dwelt  in  Sodom,  and  his  goods, 
and  departed. 

We  ha\  e here  an  account  of  the  first  war  that 
ever  we  read  of  in  scriptui  e,  which  (though  the 
wars  of  the  nations  make  the  greatest  figui  e in  Irs- 
tory,  we  had  not  had  the  record  of,  if  Abram  and 
Lot  had  not  been  concerned  in  it.  Now  concerning 
this  war,  we  may  observe, 

I.  The  parties  engaged  in  it.  The  invaders  weie 
four  kings;  two  of  them  no  less  than  kings  of  Shinar 
and  Elam,  that  is,  Chaldea  and  Persia;  yet,  proba- 
bly, not  the  sovereign  princes  of  those  great  king- 
doms in  their  own  persons,  but  either  officers  under 
them,  or  rather  the  heads  and  leaders  of  some  colo- 
nies which  came  out  of  those  great  nations,  and  set- 
tled themselves  near  Sodom,  but  retained  the  names 
of  the  countries  from  which  they  had  their  original. 
The  in\  aded  were  the  kings  of  five  cities  that  lay 
near  together  in  the  plain  of  Jordan;  Sodom;  Go- 
morrah, Admah,  Zeboiim,  and  Zoar.  Four  of  them 
are  named,  but  not  the  fifth,  the  king  of  Bela;  either 
because  he  was  much  more  mean  and  inconsidera- 
ble, or  because  he  was  much  more  wicked  and  in- 
glorious, than  the  rest,  and  worthy  to  be  forgotten. 

II.  The  occasion  of  this  war  was,  the  revolt  of 
the  five  kings  from  under  the  government  of  Che- 
dorlaomer. Twelve  years  they  served  him.  Small 
joy  had  they  of  their  fruitful  land,  while  thus  they 
were  tributaries  to  a foreign  power,  and  could  not 
call  what  they  had  their  own.  Rich  countries  are 
a desirable  prey,  and  idle  luxurious  countries  are 
an  easy  prey,  to  growing  greatness.  The  Sodom- 
ites were  the  posterity  of  Canaan  whom  Noah  had 
pronounced  a servant  to  Shem,  from  whom  Elam 
descended;  thus  soon  did  that  prophecy  begin  to  be 
fulfilled.  In  the  13th  year,  beginning  to  be  weary 
of  their  subjection,  they  rebelled,  denied  their  tri- 
bute, and  attempted  to  shake  off  the  yoke,  and  re- 
trieve their  ancient  liberties.  In  the  14th  year,  after 
some  pause  and  preparation,  Chedorlaomer,  in  con- 
junction with  his  allies,  set  himself  to  chastise  the 
rebels,  to  reduce  the  re\  olters;  and,  since  he  could 
not  have  it  otherwise,  to  fetch  his  tribute  from  them 
upon  the  point  of  his  sword.  Note,  Pride,  covet- 
ousness, and  ambition,  are  the  lusts  from  which 
wars  and  fighting  come.  To  those  insatiable  idols 
the  blood  of  thousands  has  been  sacrificed. 

III.  The  progress  and  success  of  the  war.  The 
four  kings  laid  the  neighbouring  country  waste,  and 
enriched  themselves  with  the  spoil  of  them,  v.  5... 
7,  upon  the  alarm  of  which,  it  had  been  the  wisdom 
of  the  king  of  Sodom  to  submit,  and  desire  condi- 
tions of  peace;  for  how  could  he  grapple  with  an 
enemy  thus  flushed  with  victory?  But  he  would 
rather  venture  the  utmost  extremity  than  yield,  and 
it  sped  accordingly;  Quos  Deus  destruet,  eos  de- 
mentat — Those  whom  God  means  to  destroy,  he  de- 
livers up  to  infatuation. 

1.  The  forces  of  the  king  of  Sodom  and  his  allies 
were  routed;  and,  it  should  seem,  many  of  them 
perished  in  the  slime-pits,  who  had  escaped  the 
sword,  V.  10.  In  all  places,  we  are  surrounded 


94 


GENESIS,  XIV 


with  deaths  of  various  kinds,  especially  in  the  field  | 
of  battle. 

2.  The  cities  were  plundered,  v.  11.  All  the 
goods  of  Scxlom,  and  particularly  their  stores  and 
pro.is  onsof  \ ;ct;ials,  were  carried  off  by  the  con-  I 
querors.  Note,  When  men  abuse  the  gifts  of  a ; 
bo'.int'fal  pro.  idence  to  gluttony  and  excess,  it  is  just 
vv  th  God,  and  his  usual  way,  by  some  judgment  or 
other,  to  strip  them  of  that  which  they  have  so 
abused,  Hcs.  2.  8,  9. 

3.  Lot  was  carried  captive,  x'.  12.  They  took 

I..ot  among  the  rest,  and  his  goods.  Now  Lot  may 
here  be  considered,  (1.)  As  sharing  with  his  neigh- 
bours in  this  common  calamity.  Though  he  was 
h mself  a righteous  man,  and  (which  here  is  ex- 
pressly not  ced)  Abram’s  brother’s  son,  vet  he  was 
m . olved  with  the  rest  in  this  trouble.  Kote,  [1.]  j 

things  comt  alike  to  all,  Eccl.  9.  2.  The  best 
of  men  cannot  promise  themselves  to  be  exempted 
from  the  greatest  troubles  in  this  life;  neither  our 
own  piety,  nor  our  relation  to  those  who  are  the  fa- 
vourites of  heaven,  will  be  our  security,  when  God’s 
judgments  are  abroad.  [2.]  Many  an  honest  man 
t ires  the  Avorse  for  his  wicked  neighbours;  it  is 
therefore  our  wisdom  to  separate  ourseh  es,  or,  at 
least,  to  distinguish  ourselves  from  them,  2 Cor.  6. 
17,  and  so  deliver  ourselves.  Rev.  18.  4.  (2.)  As 

smart.ng  for  the  foolish  choice  he  made  of  a settle- 
ment here:  this  is  plainly  intimated  here,  when  it  is 
said.  They  took  Abram's  brother's  son,  who  dwelt 
in  Sodom.  So  near  a relation  of  Abram  should 
have  been  a companion  and  disciple  of  Abram,  and 
should  have  abode  by  his  tents;  but  if  he  choose  to 
dwell  in  Sodom,  he  must  thank  himself,  if  he  share 
in  Sodom’s  calamities.  Note,  When  we  go  out  of 
the  Avay  of  our  duty,  we  put  ourselves  from  under 
God’s  protection,  and  cannot  expect  that  the  choi- 
ces Avhich  are  made  by  our  lusts,  should  issue  to  our 
comfort  Particular  mention  is  made  of  their  taking 
Lot’s  goods,  those  goods  which  had  occasioned  his 
contest  with  Abram,  and  his  separation  from  him. 
Note,  It  is  just  Avith  God  to  deprive  us  of  those  en- 
joyments by  Avhich  Ave  haA  e suffered  ourselves  to 
oe  deprived  of  our  enjoyment  of  him. 

13.  And  there  came  one  that  had  es- 
caped, and  told  Abram  the  Hebrew ; for 
he  dwelt  in  the  plain  of  jMamre  the  A mo- 
rite,  brother  of  Eshcol,  and  brother  of 
.\ner : and  these  icere  confederate  with 
Abram.  14.  And  when  Abram  heard  that 
his  brother  was  taken  captive,  he  armed 
his  trained  servants,  born  in  his  own  house, 
three  hundred  and  eighteen,  and  pursued 
them  unto  Dan.  15.  And  he  divided  him- 
self against  them,  he  and  his  servants,  by 
night,  and  smote  them,  and  pursued  lliem 
unto  Hobah,  which  is  on  the  left  hand  of 
Damascus.  16.  And  he  brought  back  all 
t!ie  goods,  and  also  brought  again  his  bro- 
ther Lot.  and  his  goods,  and  the  women 
also,  and  the  people. 

h lA  C bcrc  an  account  of  the  only  militan'  ac- 
t'on  Ave  ever  find  Abram  engaged  in;  and  this  he 
Avas  pr  impted  to  not  by  his  avarice  or  ambition, 
ljut  purely  bv  a j)rlnc'])le  of  charity;  it  was  not  to 
enrich  h'mse’f,  but  to  help  his  friend.  Never  Avas 
any  military  expedition  undertaken,  prosecuted, 
and  finished,  more  honourably  than  this  of  Abram’s. 

Here  is, 

I.  The  tidings  brought  him  of  his  kinsman’s  dis- 
tress Providence  so  ordered  it,  that  he  noAV  so- 


journed not  far  off,  that  he  might  be  a A’ery  pre- 
sent help.  1.  He  is  here  called  Abram  the  Hebrew, 
that  is,  the  son  and  folloAver  of  Heber,  in  Avhose  fa- 
mily the  profession  of  the  true  rel  gicn  Avas  kept  up 
in  that  degenerate  age.  Abram  herein  acted  like  a 
HebrcAV — in  a manner  not  unwoithy  the  name  and 
character  of  a religious  professor.  2.  The  tidings 
Avere  brought  by  one  that  had  escaped  Avith  his  life 
for  a prey.  Probably,  he  Avas  a Sodomite,  and  as 
bad  as  the  Avorst  of  them;  yet,  knoAving  Abram’s 
relation  to  Lot,  and  concern  for  him,  he  implores 
h.s  help,  and  hopes  to  speed  for  Lot’s  sake.  Note, 
The  Avorst  of  men,  in  the  day  of  their  trouble,  Avil’ 
be  glad  to  claim  acquaintance  Avith  those  that  are 
Avise  and  good,  and  so  get  an  interest  in  them.  The 
rich  man  in  hell,  called  Abram  Father;  and  the 
foolish  virgins  make  court  to  the  Avise  for  a share 
of  their  oil. 

II.  The  preparations  he  made  for  this  expedition. 
The  cause  Avas  plainly  good,  his  call  to  engage  in  it 
was  clear;  and  therefore,  Avith  all  speed,  he  armed 
his  trained  ser-aants,  bom  in  his  house,  to  the  num- 
ber of  three  hundred  and  eighteen.  A great  family, 
but  a small  army,  about  as  many  as  Gideon’s  that 
routed  the  Midianites,  Judg.  7.  7.  He  drew  out  his 
trained  serA  ants,  or  his  catechised  servants,  not  onl\ 
instructed  in  the  art  of  war,  wh’ch  Avas  then  tar 
short  of  the  perfection  Avhich  later  and  AA’orse  ages 
have  improved  it  to,  but  instructed  in  the  principles 
of  religion;  for  Abram  commanded  his  household 
to  keep  the  Avav  of  the  Lord.  This  shoAvs  that 
Abram  Avas,  1.  A great  man,  Avho  had  so  many  ser- 
A’ants  depending  upon  him,  and  employed  by  him; 
Avhich  Avas  not  only  his  strength  and  honour,  but 
gave  him  a great  opportunity  of  doing  good,  Avhich 
is  idl  that  is  truly  valuable'  and  desTable  in  greal^ 
places  and  great  estates.  2.  A good  man,  Avho  not 
only  served  God  himself,  but  instructed  all  about 
him  in  the  service  of  God.  Note,  Those  that  have 
great  families,  have  not  only  many  bodies,  but  many 
souls  beside  their  OAvn,  to  take  care  of  and  provide 
for.  3'hose  that  Avould  be  found  the  followers  of 
Abram,  must  see  that  their  servants  be  catechised 
servants.  3.  A wise  man;  for  though  he  Avas  a man 
of  peace,  yet  he  disciplined  his  serA  ants  for  Avar, 
not  knowing  what  occasion  he  might  have,  some 
time  or  other,  so  to  employ  them.  Note,  Though 
our  holy  religion  teaches  us  to  be  for  peace,  yet  it 
does  not  forbid  us  to  provide  for  Avar. 

III.  His  allies  and  confederates  in  this  expedi- 
tion. He  preA'ailed  Avith  his  neighbours,  Auer, 
Eshcol,  and  Mamre,  (Avith  whom  he  kept  up  a fair 
correspondence,)  to  go  along  Avith  him.  It  Avas  his 
prudence  thus  to  strengthen  his  own  troops  with 
their  auxiliary  forces;  and,  probably,  they  saAv 
themselves  concemed,  in  interest,  to  act,  as  they 
could,  agamst  this  formidable  poAver,  lest  their  own 
turn  should  be  next.  Note,  1.  It  is  our  Avisdom  and 
duty  to  behave  ourseh  es  so  respectfully  and  obli- 
gingly tOAvards  all  men,  as  that,  Avhenever  there  is 
occasion,  they  may  be  Avilling  and  readv  to  do  us  a 
kindness.  2.  Those  Avho  depend  on  God’s  help, 
yet,  in  times  of  distress,  ought  to  make  use  of  men’s 
help,  as  Providence  offers  it;  else  they  tempt  God. 

iV.  His  courage  and  conduct  Avere  a cry  remark- 
able. 1.  There  Avas  a great  deal  of  brav  ery  in  the 
enterprise  itself,  considering  the  disadA'antages  he 
lay  under.  What  could  one  family  of  husbandmen 
and  shepherds  do  against  the  armies  of  four  jirinces, 
Avho  noAV  came  fresh  from  blood  and  A'ictory.^  It 
Avas  not  a vanquished,  but  a victorious  army,  that 
he  Avas  to  pursue;  nor  was  he  constrained  by  neces- 
sity to  this  daring  attempt,  but  moved  to  it  by  gene- 
rosity; so  that,  all  things  considered,  it  Avas,  for 
aught  I knoAV,  as  great  an  instance  of  true  courag# 
as  ever  Alexander  or  Cxsar  Avas  celebrated  foi 
Note,  Religion  tends  to  make  men,  not  coAvaixb 


95 


GENESIS,  XIV. 


}'ut  truly  valiant.  The  r ghteons  is  bold  as  a lion.  H 
The  trae  chr  stian  is  the  true  hero.  2.  There  was 
a great  deal  of  pol.cy  in  the  management  of  it.  , 
Abram  was  no  stranger  to  the  stratagems  of  war;  'j 
he  divided  himself,  as  Gideon  d d his  little  army, 
Judg.  7.  16,  that  he  m ght  come  upon  the  enemy 
from  several  quarters  at  once,  and  so  make  h s few  . 
seem  a great  many;  he  made  his  attack  by  night,  : 
that  he  m ght  surprise  them.  Note,  Honest  pol  cy  , 
is  a good  fr.end  both  to  our  safety,  and  to  our  use-  ij 
fulness.  The  serpent’s  head  (provided  it  be  nothing  ; 
ak  n to  the  old  serpent)  may  well  become  a good  i 
Christian’s  body,  especially  if  it  have  a dove’s  eye  j 
in  it,  Matt.  10.  16.  | 

V.  His  success  was  very  cons'derable,  v.  15,  16.  j 
He  defeated  his  enemies,  and  rescued  his  friends; 
and  we  do  not  find  that  he  sustained  any  less.  Note,  I 
Those  that  venture  in  a good  cause,  with  a good 
heart,  are  under  the  special  protection  of  a good 
God,  and  have  reason  to  hope  for  a good  issue. 
Again,  It  is  alt  one  veith  the  Lord  to  sax^e  by  many 
or  by  fexv,  1 Sam.  14.  6.  Observe, 

1.  He  rescued  h's  kinsman;  twice  here  he  is  call- 
ed his  brother  Lot;  the  remembrance  of  the  rela- 
tion that  was  between  them,  both  by  nature  and 
grace,  made  h'm  forget  the  1 ttle  quarrel  that  had  ' 
been  between  them,  m which  Lot  had  by  no  means 
acted  well  towards  Abram.  Justly  might  Abram 
have  upbraided  Lot  with  his  folly  in  quarrelling  with 
him  and  removing  from  him,  and  have  told  h'm 
hat  he  was  well  enough  served,  he  might  have 
icnown  when  he  was  well  oflf:  but,  in  the  charitable 
breast  of  pious  Abram,  it  is  all  forgiv  en  and  for- 
gotten; and  he  tixkes  th's  opportunity  to  give  a real 
proof  of  the  sincerity  of  his  reconciliation.  Note,  I 
(1.)  We  ought  to  be  ready,  whenever  it  is  in  the  ' 
power  of  our  hands,  to  succour  and  relieve  those  ' 
that  are  in  distress,  especially  our  relations  and  j 
friends.  A brother  is  born  for  adversity,  Prov.  17.  ! 
17.  A friend  in  need  is  a fr'end  indeed.  (2. ) Though 
others  have  been  wanting  in  their  duty  to  us,  yet  ; 
we  must  not  therefore  deny  our  duty  to  them. 
Some  have  said  that  they  can  more  easily  forgive  > 
their  enemies  than  theu’  friends:  but  we  shall  see  { 
ourselves  obliged  to  forgive  both,  if  -we  consider,  | 
not  only  that  our  God,  when  we  were  enemies,  re- 
concileii  us,  but  also  that  he  fiasseth  by  the  trarrs-  | 
gression  of  the  remnant  of  his  heritage,  Mic.  7.  18.  I 

2.  He  rescued  the  rest  of  the  captives,  for  Lot’s 
sake;  though  they  were  strangers  to  h'm,  and  such 
as  he  was  under  no  obligation  to  at  all;  nay,  though 
they  were  Sodom’tes,  s’nners  before  the  Lord  ex- 
ceedingly, and  though,  probably,  he  m'ght  have 
recovered  Lot  alone  by  ransom;  yet  he  brought 
back  all  the  women  and  the  people,  and  their  goods, 
v.  16.  Note,  As  we  have  opportunity,  we  must  do 
good  to  all  men.  Our  charity  must  be  extensive, 
as  opport’inity  offers  itself.  Wherever  God  gives 
life,  we  must  not  grudge  the  help  we  can  give  to 
support  it.  God  does  good  to  the  just  and  unjust, 
and  so  must  we.  Matt.  5.  45.  This  victory  which 
Abram  obtained  over  the  kings,  the  prophet  seems 
to  refer  to,  Isa.  41.  2,  IVho  raised  tifi  the  righteous 
man  from  the  east,  and  made  him  rule  over  kings? 
And  some  suggest  that  as  before,  he  had  a title  to 
this  land  by  grant,  so  now,  by  conquest. 

1 7.  And  the  king  of  Sodom  went  out  to 
meet  him,  after  his  return  from  the  slaugh- 
ter of  Chedorlaomer  and  of  the  kings-that 
were  with  him,  at  the  valley  of  Shaveh, 
which  is  the  king’s  dale.  18.  x\nd  Mel- 
cliizedek,  king  of  Salem,  brought  forth 
bread  and  wine : and  he  teas  the  priest  of 
the  most  high  God.  19.  x\nd  he  blessed 


him,  and  said.  Blessed  he  Abram  of  the  most 
high  God,  Possessor  of  heaven  and  earth : 
20.  And  blessed  he  the  most  high  God, 
which  hath  delivered  thine  enemies  into 
thy  hand.  And  he  gave  him  tithes  of  all, 

Th  s par  graph  beg'ns  with  the  ment  rn  cf  the 
respect  which  the  k ng  cf  Sodom  pa  d to  Abram,  at 
h's  return  from  the  sla'.ghter  of  the  k ngs;  but  be- 
fore a part  e lar  account  is  g.ven  of  that,  the  storv 
of  Melchizedek  is  briefly  related.  Concern  ng 
whom,  obser\  e, 

I.  Who  he  was.  He  w s king  of  Halem  and  firiesi 

of  the  most  high  God;  and  ether  glorious  th'ngs  are 
said  of  h m,  Heb.  7.  1,  &c.  1.  The  rabbins,  and 

most  of  our  r bb  nical  wr.ters,  conclude  that  Mel- 
chizedek was  Shem  the  son  of  Noah,  who  was  king 
and  pr'est  to  those  that  descended  from  him,  ac- 
cording to  the  patriarchal  mcdel.  But  this  is  not 
at  all  probable;  for  why  should  his  name  be  chang- 
ed? And  how  came  he  to  settle  in  Canaan?  2. 
Many  christ'an  writers  have  thought  that  this  was 
an  appearance  of  the  Son  of  God  himself,  our  Lord 
Jesus,  known  to  Abram,  at  this  time,  by  this  name, 
as,  afterward,  Hagar  called  him  by  another  name, 
ch,  16.  13.  He  appeared  to  him  as  a righteous  king, 
owning  a righteous  cause,  and  giving  peace.  It  is 
hard  to  think  that  any  mere  man  should  be  said  to 
be  xvithout  father,  without  mother,  and  without 
descent,  having  neither  be^nning  of  days,  nor  end 
of  life,  Heb.  7.  3.  It  is  witnessed  of  Melchizedek, 
that  he  liveth,  and  that  he  abideth  a jiriest  continu- 
ally, V.  3,  8;  nay,  v.  13,  14,  the  apostle  makes  him 
of  whom  these  things  are  spoken,  to  be  our  Lord 
who  sprang  out  of  Judah.  It  is  likewise  hard  to 
think  that  any  mere  man  should,  at  this  time,  be 
greater  than  Abram  in  the  things  of  God,  and  that 
Christ  should  be  a priest  after  the  order  of  any  mere 
man,  and  that  any  human  priesthood  should  so  far 
excel  that  of  Aaron  as  it  is  certain  that  Melchize- 
dek’s  did.  3.  The  most  received  opinion  is,  that 
Melchizedek  was  a Canaanite  prince,  that  reigned 
in  Salem,  and  kept  up  the  true  religion  there;  but 
if  so,  why  he  should  occur  here  only  in  all  the 
story  of  Abram,  why  Abram  should  have  altars  of 
his  own,  and  not  attend  the  altai's  of  his  neighbour 
Melchizedek  who  was  greater  than  he,  seems  un- 
accountable. Mr.  Gregory  of  Oxford  tells  us,  that 
the  Arabic  Catena,  which  he  builds  much  upon  the 
authority  of,  gives  this  account  of  Melchizedek: 
That  he  was  the  son  of  Heraclim,  the  sen  of  Peleg, 
the  son  of  Eber,  and  that  his  mother’s  name  was 
Salathiel,  the  daughter  of  Gomer,  the  son  of  Ja- 
pheth,  the  son  of  "Noah. 

II.  Wliat  he  did.  1.  He  brought  forth  bread 
and  wine,  for  the  refreshment  of  Abram  and  his  sol- 
diers, and  in  congratulation  of  their  victory.  This 
he  did  as  a king,  teaching  us  to  do  good  and  to  com- 
municate, and  to  be  given  to  hos]oitality,  according 
to  our  ability;  and  representing  the  spiritual  provi- 
sions of  strength  and  comfort  which  Christ  has  laid 
up  for  us  in  the  covenant  of  gi-are  for  our  refresh- 
ment, when  we  are  wearied  with  cur  spiritual  con- 
flicts. 2.  As  priest  of  the  most  high  God,  he  blessed 
x\bram,  which  we  may  suppose  a ‘greater  refresh- 
ment to  Abram  than  his  bread  and  wine  were. 
Thus  God,  having  raised  up  his  son  Jesus,  has  sent 

j him  to  bless  us,  as  one  having  authority;  and  those 
I whom  he  blesses,  are  blessed  indeed.  Christ  went 
I to  heaven  when  he  was  blessing  his  disciples,  Luke 
j 24.  51,  for  that  is  it  which  he  ever  lives  to  do. 

I III.  MTiat  he  said,  xa  19,  20.  Two  things  were 
said  by  him,  1.  He  blessed  Abram  from  God,  v.  19, 

' Blessed  be  Abram,  blessed  of  the  most  high  God. 
j Obser\’e  the  titles  he  here  gives  to  God,  which  are 
I very  glorious:  (1.)  The  most  high  Goc?,  which  be 


9G  GENESIS,  XIV. 


speaks  his  absolute  perfections  in  himself,  and  his 
sovereigji  dominion  over  all  the  creatures;  he  is 
King  of  kings.  Note,  It  will  greatly  help  both  our 
faith  and  our  reverence  in  prayer,  to  eye  God  as 
the  most  high  God,  and  to  call  him  so.  (2.)  Pos- 
sf^ssoi'  of  heaven  and  earth,  that  is,  rightful  Ov/ner, 
and  sovereign  Lord,  of  all  the  creatures;  because 
he  made  them.  This  bespeaks  him  a great  God, 
and  greatly  to  be  praised,  Ps.  24.  1,  and  tl\em  a 
hap])y  people  who  have  an  interest  in  his  favour  I 
and  love.  2.  He  blessed  God  for  Abram,  v.  20, 
and  blessed  be  the  most  high  God.  Note,  (!•) 
all  our  prayers,  we  must  praise  God,  and  join  Hal- 
lelujahs with  all  our  Hosannbihs.  These  are  the 
spiritual  saci'ifices  we  must  offer  up  daily,  and  upon 
particular  occasions.  (2.)  God,  as  the  most  high 
God,  must  have  the  glory  of  all  our  \ ictories,  Exod. 
17.  15.  1 Sam..  7.  10,  12.  Judg.  5.  1,  2.  2 Chron.  20. 
21.  In  them  he  shoAvs  himself  higher  than  our  ene- 
mies, Exod.  18.  11,  and  higher  than  we;  for  without 
him  we  could  do  nothing.  (3.)  We  ought  to  give 
thanks  for  others’  mercies  as  for  our  own;  triumph- 
ing with  them  that  triumph.  (4. ) Jesus  Christ,  our 
gi-eat  High-Priest,  is  the  Mediator  both  of  our 
rayers  and  praises,  and  not  only  offers  up  our’s, 
ut  his  own  for  us.  See  Luke  10.  21. 

IV.  What  was  done  to  him.  Abram  gave  hirn 
iithes  of  all,  that  is,  of  the  spoils,  Heb.  7.  4.  This 
may  be  looked  upon,  1.  As  a gratuity  presented  to 
Melchizedek,  by  way  of  return  for  his  tokens  of  re- 
spect. Note,  They  that  receive  kindness,  should 
show  kindness.  Gratitude  is  one  of  nature’s  laws. 
2.  As  an  offering  vowed  and  dedicated  to  the  most 
high  God,  and  therefore  put  into  the  hands  of  Mel- 
chizedek his  priest.  Note,  (1.)  When  we  have  re- 
ceived some  signal  mercy  from  God,  it  is  very  fit 
that  we  should  express  our  thankfulness  by  some 
special  act  of  pious  charity.  God  must  always  have 
his  dues  out  of  our  substance;  especially  when,  by 
any  particular  providence,  he  has  either  preserved 
or  increased  it  to  us.  (2. ) That  the  tenth  of  our  in- 
crease is  a very  fit  proportion  to  be  set  apart  for  the 
honour  of  God,  and  the  service  of  his  sanctuary. 
(3.)  That  Jesus  Christ,  our  great  Melchizedek,  is 
to  have  homage  done  him,  and  to  be  humbly  ac- 
knowledged by  every  one  of  us  as  our  King  and  Priest ; 
and  not  only  the  tithe  of  all,  but  all  we  have,  must 
be  surrendered  and  given  up  to  him. 

21.  And  the  king  of  Sodom  said  unto 
Abram,  Give  me  the  persons,  and  take  the 
goods  to  thyself.  22.  And  Abram  said  to 
the  king  of  Sodom,  I have  lift  up  mine  hand 
unto  the  Lord,  the  most  high  God,  the  pos- 
sessor of  heaven  and  earth,  23.  That  1 will 
not  take  from  a thread  even  to  a shoe-latch- 
et, and  that  I will  not  take  any  thing  that  is 
thine,  lest  thou  shouldest  say,  I have  made 
Abram  rich : 24.  Save  only  that  which  the 
young  men  have  eaten,  and  the  portion  of 
the  men  which  went  with  me,  Aner,Eshcol, 
and  Mamre  ; let  them  take  their  portion. 

We  have  here  an  account  of  what  passed  between 
Abram  and  the  king  of  Sodom,  who  succeeded  him 
that  fell  in  the  battle,  v.  10,  and  thought  himself 
obliged  to  do  this  honour  to  Abram,  in  return  for 
the  good  services  he  had  done  him. 

Here  is, 

I.  The  king  of  Sodom’s  grateful  offer  to  Abram, 
7>.  21,  Give  me  the  soul,  and  take  thou  the  substance : 
so  the  Hebrew  reads  it.  Here  he  fairly  begs  the 

gersons,  but  as  freely  bestows  the  goods  on  Abram. 
Tote,  1.  Where  a right  is  dubious  and  divided,  it 


is  wisdom  to  compound  the  matter  by  mutual  con 
cessions  rather  than  to  contend.  The  king  of  Sodon  ■ 
had  an  original  right  both  to  the  persons  and  to  th 
goods,  and  it  would  bear  a debate  whether  Abram’ 
acquired  right  by  rescue  would  supersede  his  title, 
and  extinguish  it;  but,  to  prevent  all  quarrels,  the 
king  of  Sodom  makes  this  fair  proposal.  2.  Grati- 
tude teaches  us  to  recompense  to  the  utmost  of  our 
power  those  that  have  undergone  fatigues,  run  ha- 
zards, and  been  at  expense,  for  our  service  and  be- 
nefit. M ho  goes  a warfare  ut  his  ovm  charges?  1 
Cor.  9.  7.  Soldiers  purchase  their  pay  dearer  than 
any  labourers,  and  are  well  worthy  of  it,  because 
they  expose  their  lives. 

II.  Abram’s  generous  refusal  of  this  offer.  He 
not  only  resigned  the  persons  to  him,  who,  being 
delivered  out  of  the  hand  of  their  enemies,  ought  to 
have  served  Abram,  but  he  restored  all  the  goods 
too.  He  would  not  take  from  a thread  to  a shoe- 
latchet,  not  the  least  thing  that  had  ever  belonged 
to  the  king  of  Sodom  or  any  of  his.  Note,  A lively 
faith  enables  a man  to  look  upon  the  wealth  of  this 
world  with  a holy  contempt,  1 John  5.  4.  What  are 
all  the  ornaments  and  delights  of  sense  to  on^  that 
has  God  and  heaven  ever  in  his  eye?  He  resolves 
even  to  a thread  and  a shoe-latchet;  for  a tender 
conscience  fears  offending  in  a small  matter. 

Now,  1.  Abram  ratifies  this  resolution  with  a so- 
lemn oath.  I have  lift  up.  mine  hand  to  the  Lord, 
that  I will  not  take  any  thing,  v.  22.  Here  observe, 
( 1. ) The  titles  he  gives  to  God,  Ihe  most  high  God, 
the  Possessor  of  heaven  and  earth,  the  same  that 
Melchizedek  had  just  now  used,  v.  19.  Note,  It 
is  good  to  learn  of  others  how  to  order  our  speech 
concerning  God,  and  to  imitate  those  who  speak 
well  in  divine  things.  This  improvement  we  are 
to  make  of  the  conversation  of  devout  good  men,  Ave 
must  learn  to  speak  after  them.  (2.)  The  ceremo- 
ny used  in  this  oath,  I have  lift  up  my  hand.  In  re- 
ligious swearing  we  appeal  to  God’s  knoAvledge  of 
our  truth  and  sincerity,  and  imprecate  his  Avrath  if 
we  swear  falsely;  the.'  If  ting  tip  of  the  hand  is  very 
significant  and  expressive  of  both.  (3. ) The  matter 
of  the  oath,  namely,  that  he  Avould  not  take  any  re- 
Avard  from  the  king  of  Sodom,  AvaslaAvful,  but  Avhat 
he  was  not  antecedently  obliged  to.  [1.]  Probably, 
Abram  vowed,  before  he  Avent  to  the  battle,  that  if 
God  would  give  him  success,  he  Avould,  for  the  glory 
of  God,  and  the  credit  of  his  profession,  so  far  deny 
himself  and  his  OAvn  right,  as  to  take  nothing  of  the 
spoils  to  himself.  Note,  The  voavs  Ave  have  made 
when  Ave  are  in  pursuit  of  a mercy,  must  be  care- 
fully and  conscientiously  kept  Avhen  Ave  have  ob- 
tained the  mercy,  though  they  Avere  made  against 
our  interest.  A citizen  of  Zion,  if  he  has  SAVorn, 
whether  it  be  to  God  or  man,  though  it  prove  to 
his  own  hurt,  yet  he  changeth  not,  Ps.  15.  4.  Or, 
[2.  ] Perhaps  Abram,  now  when  he  saAv  cause  to 
refuse  the  offer  made  him,  at  the  same  time  con- 
firmed his  refusal  with  this  oath,  to  prevent  further 
importunity.  Note,  First,  There  may  be  good  rea- 
son sometimes  why  Ave  should  debar  ourselves  of 
that  which  is  our  undoubted  right,  as  St.  Paul,  1 
Cor.  8.  13. — 9.  12.  Secondly,  That  strong  resolu- 
tions are  of  good  use  to  put  by  the  force  of  tempta- 
tions. 

2.  He  backs  his  refusal  with  a good  reason.  Lest 
thou  shouldest  say , J have  made  Abram  rich;  Avhich 
would  reflect  reproach,  (1.)  Upon  the  promise  and 
coA'cnant  of  God,  as  if  they  would  not  have  enriched 
.'Ybram  Avithout  the  spoils  of  Sodom.  And,  (2.) 
Upon  the  piety  and  charity  of  Abram,  as  if  all  he 
had  in  his  eye,  Avhen  he  undertook  that  hazardous 
expedition,  Avas  to  enrich  himself.  Note,  [1.]  We 
must  be  very  careful  that  avc  give  not  occasion  to 
others  to  say  things  which  they  ought  not.  [2.  ] I'he 
people  of  God  must,  for  their  credit’s  sake,  take 


97 


GENESIS,  XV. 


heed  of  doing  any  thing  that  looks  mean  or  meixe- 
nary,  or  that  savours  of  covetousness  and  self-seek- 
ing. Probably,  Abram  knew  the  king  C)f  Sodcm  to 
be  a proud  and  scornful  mim,  and  one  that  would, 
though  most  unreasonably,  be  apt  to  turn  such  a 
thing  as  this  to  his  reproach  afterward;  when  we 
have  to  do  with  such  men,  we  have  neq^  to  act  with  j 
particular  caution.  j 

3.  He  limits  his  refusal  with  a double  proviso,  v.  I 
24.  In  making  vows,  we  ought  carefully  to  insert  | 
the  necessary  exceptions,  that  we  may  not  after-  l 
ward  say  before  the  angel.  It  was  an  error,  Eccl.  ^ 
5.  6.  Abram  here  excepts,  (1.)  The  food  of  his 
soldiers;  they  were  worthy  of  their  meat  while  they 
trod  out  the  corn.  This  would  give  no  colour  to  the 
king  of  Sodom  to  say  that  he  had  enriched  A’Dram. 
(2. ) The  shares  of  his  allies  and  confedei’ates.  Let 
them  take  their  fiortion.  Note,  Those  who  are  strict 
in  restraining  their  own  libertj',  yet  ought  not  to  im- 
pose those  restraints  upon  the  liberties  of  others, 
nor  to  judge  of  them  accordingly;  we  must  not  make 
ourselves  the  standard  to  measure  others  by.  A 
good  man  will  deny  himself  that  liberty  which  he 
will  not  deny  another,  contrary  to  the  practice  of 
the  Pharisees,  Matt.  23.  4.  There  was  not  the  same 
reason  why  Aner,  Eshcol,  and  Mamre,  should  quit 
their  right,  that  there  was  why  Abram  should.  They 
did  not  make  the  profession  that  he  made,  nor  were 
they,  as  he  was,  under  the  obligation  of  a vow;  they 
had  not  the  hopes  that  Abi’am  had  of  a portion  in 
the  other  world,  and  therefore,  by  all  means,  let 
them  take  their  fiortion  of  this. 

CHAP.  XV. 

n this  chapter,  we  have  a solemn  treaty  between  God  and 
Abram,  concerning-  a covenant  that  was  to  be  established 
between  them.  In  the  former  chapter,  we  had  Abram  in 
the  field  with  kings,  here  in  the  mount  with  God;  and 
though  there  he  looked  great,  yet,  methinks,  here  he  looks 
much  greater;  that  honour  have  the  great  men  of  the  I 
world,  but  this  honour  have  all  the  saints.  The  covenant 
to  be  settled  between  God  and  Abram,  was  a covenant  of 
promises;  accordingly,  here  is,  I.  A general  assurance 
of  God’s  kindness  and  good-will  to  Abram,  v.  1.  II.  A 
particular  declaration  of  the  purposes  of  his  love  con- 
cerning him,  in  two  things:  1.  That  he  would  give  him  a 
numerous  issue,  v.  2. .6.  2.  That  he  would  give  him  Ca- 

naan for  an  inheritance,  v.  7. ..21.  Either  an  estate 
without  an  heir,  or  an  heir  without  an  estatm  would  but 
have  been  a half  comfort  to  Abram.  But  God  ensures 
both  to  him  ; and  that  which  made  these  two,  the  pro- 
mised seed,  and  the  promised  land,  comforts  indeed  to 
this  great  believer,  was,  that  they  were  both  typical  of 
those  two  invaluable  blessings,  Christ  and  heaven;  and 
so,  we  have  reason  to  think,  Abram  eyed  them. 

1 . A FTER  these  things,  the  word  of  the 
J\.  Lord  came  unto  Abram  in  a \ision, 
saying,  Fear  not,  Abram:  I am  thy  shield 
and  thy  exceeding  great  reward. 

Obsen^e  here, 

I.  The  time  when  God  had  this  treaty  with 
Abram : After  these  things.  1.  After  that  famous 
act  of  generous  charity  which  Abram  had  done,  in  i 
rescuing  his  friends  and  neighbours  out  of  distress, 
and  that,  not  for  firice  nor  reward;  after  that,  God  I 
made  him  this  gi’acious  visit.  Note,  Those  that  i 
show  favour  to  men,  shall  find  favour  with  God.  2.  i 
After  that  victory  which  he  had  obtained  over  four  ' 
kings:  lest  Abram  should  be  too  much  elevated  and 
pleased  with  that,  God  comes  to  him,  to  tell  him  he 
had  better  things  in  store  for  him.  Note,  A believ- 
ing converse  with  spiritual  blessings  is  an  excellent  ' 
means  to  keep  us  from  being  too  much  taken  up 
with  tenipra-al  enjoyments.  The  gifts  of  common 
providence  are  not  comparable  to  those  of  covenant- 
love. 

II.  The  manner  in  which  God  conversed  with 

VoL.  I.— N 


; Abram;  The  word  of  the  Lord  came  unto  Abram, 
that  is,  God  nicJiilested  himself  and  his  will  to 
Abram  in  a vision;  w’hich  supposes  Abram  awake, 
and  some  \ isible  appearance  of  the  Shechinah,  or 
some  sensible  token  of  the  presence  of  the  divine 
glory.  Note,  The  methods  of  divine  revelation  are 
ad-.pted  to  our  st.Ae  in  a world  of  sense. 

111.  The  gracious  assurance  God  gave  him  of  his 
favour  to  him.  1.  He  called  him  by  name,  Abram, 
which  was  a great  honour  to  him,  and  made  his 
name  great,  imd  was  also  a great  encouragement 
and  assistance  to  his  taith.  Note,  God’s  gO(  d word 
then  does  us  good,  wlien  it  is  spoken  bv  his  Spirit  to 
us  in  particular,  and  brought  to  cur  hearts.  The 
word  says.  Ho,  every  one,  isa.  55.  1 ; the  Spirit  says. 
Ho,  such  a one.  2.  He  cautioi.ed  him  against  be- 
ing disquieted  and  confounded;  l ear  not,  Abram. 
Auram  might  fear  lest  the  four  kings  lie  had  routed, 
should  rally  again,  and  fall  upon  him  to  his  ruin; 
“ No,”  says  (iod,  “ Lear  net.  Fear  not  their  re- 
venges, nor  thy  neighbours’ envy;  I will  take  care 
of  thee.”  Note,  (1.)  Where  there  is  great  faith, 
yet  there  may  be  many  fears,  2 Cor.  7.  5.  (2.)  God 
takes  cognizance  of  his  people’s  fears  though  ever 
so  secret,  and /l-;zows  their  souls,  Ps.  31.  7.  (3.)  It 
is  the  will  of  God  that  his  people  should  not  give 
way  to  prevailing  fears,  w'hatcver  happens.  Let 
the  sinners  in  Zion  be  afndd,  but  fear  not,  Abram. 
3.  He  assured  him  cf  safety  and  happiness;  that  he 
should  for  ever  be,  (1. ) As  sate  as  God  himself  could 
keep  him;  1 am  thy  Shield,  or,  somew'hat  more  em- 
phatically, lama  'Shield  to  thee,  present  with  thee, 
actually  caring  for  thee.  See  1 Chron.  17.  24.  Not 
only  the  God  of  Israel,  but  a God  to  Israel.  Note, 
I'he  consideration  of  this,  that  God  himself  is, 
and  will  be,  a Shield  to  his  people  to  secure  them 
from  all  desti'uctive  e^ils,  and  a Shield  ready  te 
them,  and  a Shield  round  about  them,  should  be 
sufficient  to  silence  all  their  perplexing  toi-menting 
fears.  (2.)  As  happy  as  God  himself  could  maLe 
him ; I will  be  thy  exceeding  great  Reward;  not  only 
thy  Rewarder,  but  thy  Rew-ard.  Abram  had  ge- 
nerously refused  the  rewards  which  the  king  of  So- 
dom offered  him,  and  here  God  comes,  and  tells 
him  he  shall  be  no  loser  by  it.  Note,  [1.]  The  re- 
wards of  believing  obedience  and  self-denial,  are 
exceeding  great,  1 Cor.  2.  9.  [2.  ] God  himself  is 
the  chosen  and  promised  felicity  of  holy  souls;  cho- 
■sen  in  this  world,  promised  in  a better.  He  is  the 
portion  of  their  inheritance,  and  their  cup. 

2.  And  Abram  said,  Lord  God,  what  wilt 
thou  give  me,  seeing  I go  childless,  and  the 
steward  of  my  house  is  this  Eliezer  of  Da- 
mascus ? 3.  And  Abram  said,  Behold,  to 
me  thou  hast  given  no  seed : and,  lo,  one 
born  in  my  house  is  mine  heir.  4.  And, 
behold,  the  word  of  the  Lord  came  unto 
him,  sajing,  This  shall  not  be  thine  heir : but 
he  that  shall  come  forth  out  of  thine  own 
bowels,  shall  be  thine  heir.  5.  And  he 
brought  him  forth  abroad,  and  said.  Look 
now  toward  heaven,  and  tell  the  stars,  if 
thou  be  able  to  number  them.  And  he  said 
unto  liim.  So  shall  thy  seed  be.  6.  And  he 
believed  in  the  Lord  ; and  he  counted  it 
to  him  for  righfeousness. 

"VCe  have  here  the  assurance  given  to  Abram  of 
a numerous  offspring  which  should  descend  from 
him.  In  which,  observe, 

I.  Abram’s  repeated  complaint,  v.  2,  3.  This 
was  that  which  ga\  e occasion  to  this  promise.  The 
great  affliction  that  sat  heavy  upt  n Abram,  was  the 


98 


GENESIS,  XV. 


want  of  a child;  and  the  complaint  of  this  he  here 
flours  out  before  the  Lord,  and  shows  bifure  him  his 
trouble,  Ps.  142.  2.  Note,  Though  we  must  never 
complain  of  God,  yet  we  have  lea\  e to  complain  to 
him,  and  to  be  large  and  particular  in  the  statement 
of  our  grievances;  and  it  is  some  ease  to  a burthened 
spirit,  to  open  its  case  to  a faithful  and  compassion- 
ate friend;  such  a friend  God  is,  whose  ear  is  al- 
ways open.  Now' his  complaint  is  four-fold. 

1.  That  he  had  no  child,  v.  3,  Behold,  to  me  thou 
hast  ^ven  seed;  not  only  no  son,  but  no  seed;  if 
he  had  had  a daughter,  from  her  the  promised  Mes- 
siah might  have  come,  who  was  to  f)e  the  seed  of 
the  woman;  but  he  had  neither  son  nor  daughter. 
He  seems  to  lay  an  emphasis  on  that,  to  me.  His 
neighbours  were  full  of  children,  his  servants  had 
children  born  in  his  house;  “But  to  me,”  he  com- 

lains,  “thou  hast  given  me  none;”  and  yet  God 
ad  told  him  he  should  be  a favourite  above  all. 
Note,  (1.)  Those  that  are  written  childless,  must 
see  God  writing  them  so.  (2. ) God  often  withholds 
those  temporal  comforts  from  his  own  children, 
which  he  gives  plentifully  to  others  that  are  stran- 
gers to  him. 

2.  That  he  was  never  likely  to  have  any;  intima- 
ted in  that,  I go,  or  “ lam  going,  childless,  going 
into  years,  going  down  the  hill  apace;  nay,  I am 
going  out  of  the  world,  going  the  wav  of  all  the 
earth.  I die  childless.”  So  the  LXX.  “I  leave 
the  world,  and  leave  no  child  behind  me.” 

3.  That  his  servants  were,  for  the  present,  and 
were  likely  to  be  to  him,  instead  of  sons.  While 
he  lived,  the  steward  of  his  house  was  Rliezer  of 
Damascus;  to  him  he  committed  the  care  of  his 
family  and  estate,  who  might  be  faithful,  but  only 
as  a servant,  not  as  a son.  \\4ien  he  died,  one  born 
in  his  house  would  be  his  heir,  and  would  Ijear  rule 
over  all  that  for  which  he  had  laboured,  Eccl.  2. 
18,  19,  21.  God  had  already  told  him  that  he 
would  make  of  him  a great  nation,  ch.  12.  2,  and 
his  seed  as  the  dust  of  the  earth,  ch.  13.  16,  but  he 
had  left  him  in  doubt  whether  it  should  be  his  seed 
begotten,  or  his  seed  adopted,  by  a son  of  his  loins, 
or  only  a son  of  his  house.  “Now,  Lord,”  says 
Abram,  “if  it  be  only  an  adopted  son,  it  must  be 
one  of  my  servants,  -which  will  reflect  disgrace  upon 
the  promised  Seed,  that  is  to  descend  from  him.  ” 
Note,  While  promised  mercies  are  delayed,  our 
unbelief  and  impatience  are  apt  to  conclude  them 
denied. 

4.  That  the  want  of  a son  was  so  great  a trouble 
to  h m,  that  it  took  away  the  comfort  of  all  his  en- 
joyments. “ Lord  what  wilt  thou  give  me?  All  is 
nothing  to  me,  if  I have  net  a son.”  Now  (1.)  If 
we  suppose  that  Abram  looked  no  further  than  a 
temporal  comfort,  this  comjjlaint  was  culpable. 
God  had,  by  his  firovidence,  given  him  some  good 
things,  and  more  by  his  /iromise;  and  yet  Abram 
makes  no  account  of  them,  becaifse  he  has  not  a 
son.  It  did  very  ill  iDecome  the  father  of  the  faith- 
ful to  say,  IVhat  wilt  thou  give  me,  seeing  I go 
childless?  immediately  after  God  had  said,  I am  thy 
'shield,  and  thy  exceeding  great  reward.  Note, 
Those  do  not  rightly  value  the  advantages  of  their 
covenant-relation  tri  God  and  interest  in  him,  who 
do  not  think  it  sufficient  to  lialance  the  want  of  any 
creature-comfort  whatever.  But,  (2.)  If  we  sup- 
pose that  Abram,  herein,  had  an  eye  to  the  Pro- 
mised Seed,  the  imp-  rtunity  of  his  desire  was  very 
commendable;  all  was  nothing  to  him  if  he  had  not 
the  earnest  of  that  great  blessing,  and  an  assurance  of 
his  relation  to  the  Messiah,  which  God  had  already 
encouraged  him  to  maintain  the  expectation.  He  has 
wealth,  and  victory,  and  honour;  but,  while  he  is 
kept  in  the  dark  about  the  main  matter,  it  is  all 
nothing  to  him.  Note,  Till  we  have  some  com- 
fortable evidence  of  our  interest  in  Christ  and  the 


I new  covenant,  we  should  not  rest  satisfied  with  any 
thing  else.  “This,  and  the  other,  I have;  but 
what  will  this  avail  me,  if  I go  Christless.^”  Yet 
thus  far  the  complaint  was  culpable,  that  there  was 
some  diffidence  of  the  promise  at  the  bottom  of  it, 
and  a weariness  of  waiting  God’s  time.  Note,  True 
believers  sejmetimes  find  it  hard  to  reconcile  God’s 
premises  and  his  providences,  when  they  seem  to 
I disagree. 

II.  God’s  gracious  answer  to  this  complaint.  To 
I the  fir«t  part  of  the  complaint,  (y.  2. ) Cxod  gave  no 
i immediate  answer,  because  there  was  something 

of  fretfulness  in  it;  but  when  he  renewed  his  ad- 
dress somewhat  more  calmly,  (t'.  3.)  Gcd  answer- 
ed him  graciously.  Note,  If  we  continue  instant  in 
prayer,  and  yet  pray  with  a humble  submission  to 
the  divine  will,  we  shall  not  seek  in  >ain.  1.  God 
ga\  e him  an  express  promise  of  a sen,  v.  4.  This 
that  is  born  in  thy  house,  shall  not  be  thine  heir,  as 
thou  fearest,  but  one  that  shall  come  forth  out  of 
thine  own  bowels  shall  be  thine  heir.  Note,  (1. ) 
God  makes  heirs;  he  says,  “This  shall  not,  and 
this  shall;”  whate\  er  men  dev  ise  and  design,  in  set- 
tling their  estates,  God’s  counsel  shall  stand.  (2. ) 
God  is  often  better  to  us  than  cur  own  fears,  and 
gives  the  mercy  we  had  long  despaired  of.  2.  To 
affect  him  the  more  with  surprise,  he  took  him  out, 
and  showed  him  the  stars,  (this  v ision  being  early 
in  the  morning  before  day,)  and  then  tells  him.  So 
shall  thy  seed  be,  v.  5.  (1.)  So  numerous;  the  stars 

seem  innumerable  to  a common  eye;  Abram  feared 
he  should  have  no  child  at  all,  but  Gcd  tells  him 
that  the  descendants  from  hi^  loins  should  be  so 
many  as  not  to  be  numbered.  (2.)  So  illustrious, 
resembling  the  stars  in  splendour:  for  to  them  fier- 
tained  the  glory,  Rom.  9.  4.  Abram’s  seed,  ac- 
cording to  his  flesh,  were  like  the  dust  (f  the  earth, 
{ch.  13.  16.)  but  his  spiritual  seed  are  like  the 
stars  of  heaven,  not  only  num.erous,  but  glorious, 
and  ' ery  precious. 

III.  Abram’s  firm  belief  of  the  promise  God  now 

made  him,  and  God’s  favourable  acceptance  of  his 
faith,  V.  6.  1.  He  beliex'ed  in  the  Lord,  that  is,  he 

j believed  the  truth  of  that  promise  which  God  had 
now  made  him,  resting  upon  the  irresistible  power, 

! and  the  inviolable  faithfulness,  of  him  that  made  it; 
i Hath  he  sfioken,  and  shall  he  not  make  it  good? 
Note,  Those  who  would  hav  c the  comfort  of  the 
! promises,  must  mix  faith  with  the  promises.  See 
j how  the  apostle  magnifies  this  faith  of  Abram,  and 
1 makes  it  a standing  example,  Rom.  4.  19.. 21,  He 
was  not  weak  in  faith;  he  staggered  not  at  the  fifo- 
mise;  he  was  strong  in  faith;  he  was  fully  persuad- 
ed. The  Lord  work  Such  a faith  in  every  one  of 
us!  Some  think  that  his  believing  in  the  Lord, 
respected,  not  only  the  Lord  promising,  but  the 
Lord  promised,  the  Lord  Jesus,  the  Mediator  of 
I the  new  covenant.  He  believed  in  him,  tliat  is,  re- 
ceived and  embraced  the  divine  revelation  concern- 
ing him,  and  rejoiced  to  see  his  day,  though  at  so 
great  a distance,  John  8.  56.  2.  God  counted  it  to 
him  for  righteousness;  that  is,  upon  the  score  of 
this,  he  was  accepted  of  God,  and,  as  the  rest  of  the 
patriarchs,  by  faith  he  obtained  the  witness  that  he 
was  ri^-hteous,  Heb.  11.  4.  This  is  urged  in  the 
New  Testament,  to  prove  that  we  arc  justified  by 
faith  without  the  tvorks  of  the  law;  (Rom.  4.  3. 
Gal.  3.  6.)  for  Abram  was  so  justified,  while  he 
was  yet  uncircumcised.  If  Abram  that  was  so  rich 
in  good  works,  was  not  justified  by  them,  but  by  his 
faith,  much  less  can  we,  that  are  so  ])oor  in  them. 
This  faith,  which  was  imputed  to  Abram  for  right- 
eousness, had  lately  struggled  with  unbelief,  {v.  2. ) 
and,  coming  off  a conqueror,  it  was  thus  crowned, 
thus  honoured.  Note,  A fiducial,  practical,  ac- 
ceptance of,  and  dependence  upon,  Gc-tl’s  jmomise 
of  grace  and  glory,  in  and  through  Christ,  is  that. 


99 


GENESIS,  XV. 


which  according  to  the  tenor  of  the  new  covenant, 
gi\  es  us  a right  to  all  the  blessings  contained  in  that 
promise.  All  believers  are  justified  as  Abram  was, 
and  it  wtis  his  faith  that  was  counted  to  him  for 
righteousness. 

7.  And  he  said  unto  him,  I am  the  Lord 
that  brought  ihee  out  of  Ur  of  the  Chaldees, 
to  give  thee  this  land  to  inherit  it.  8.  And 
he  said.  Lord  God,  whereby  shall  1 know 
that  I shall  inherit  it  I 9.  And  he  said  unto 
him.  Take  me  an  heifer  of  three  years  old, 
and  a she-goat  of  three  years  old,  and  a ram 
of  three  years  old,  and  a turtle-dove,  and  a 
young  pigeon.  10.  And  he  took  unto  him 
all  tliese,  and  divided  them  in  the  midst,  and 
laid  each  piece  one  against  another : but  the 
birds  divided  he  not.  11.  And  when  the 
fowls  came  down  upon  the  carcases,  Abram 
drove  them  away. 

We  ha\  e here  the  assurance  giv  en  to  Abram,  of 
the  land  of  Canaan  for  an  inheritance. 

I.Tiod  declares  his  purpose  concerning  it,  v.  7. 
Observe  here,  Abram  made  no  complaint  in  this 
matter,  as  he  had  done  for  the  want  of  a child. 
Note,  Those  that  are  sure  of  an  interest  in  the  Pro- 
mised Seed,  will  see  no  reason  to  doubt  of  a title  to 
the  promised  land.  If  Christ  is  our’s,  heaven  is 
our’s.  Observe,  again.  When  he  believed  the  for- 
mer promise,  (x>.  6. ) then  God  explained  and  rati- 
fied this  to  him.  Note,  To  him  that  has  (improves 
what  he  has)  more  shall  be  given.  Three  things 
God  here  reminds  Abram  of  for  his  encouragement 
concerning  the  promise  of  this  good  land. 

1.  What  God  is  in  himself:  I am  the  Lord  Jeho- 
vah; and  therefore,  (1.)  “I  may  give  it  thee,  for  I 
am  sovereign  Lord  ot  all,  and  have  a right  to  dis- 
pose of  the  whole  earth.  ” (2. ) “ I can  give  it  thee, 
whatever  opposition  may  be  made,  though  by  the 
sons  of  Anak.  ” God  never  promises  more  than  he 
is  able  to  perform,  as  men  often  do.  (3.)  “Iwill 
make  good  my  promise  to  thee;”  Jehovah  is  not  a 
meCn  that  he  should  lie. 

2.  W’hat  he  had  done  for  Abram : he  had  brought 

hin\  out  of  Ur  of  the  Chaldees,  out  of  the  fire  of  the 
Chaldees,  so  some,  that  is,  (1.)  From  their  idola- 
tries: for  the  Chaldeans  worshipped  the  fire:  or, 
(2.)  From  their  persecutions.  I'he  Jewish  writers 
have  a tradition  that  Abram  was  cast  into  the  fiery 
funiace  for  refusing  to  worship  idols,  and  was  mi- 
raculouslv  delivered.  It  is  rather  a place  of  that 
name.  Thence  God  brought  him  by  an  effectual 
call;  brought  him  with  a gracious  violence;  snatch- 
ed him  as  a brand  out  of  the  burning.  This  was, 
[1.]  A special  mercy;  “I  brought  thee,  and  left 
others,  thousands,  topei'ish  there;”  God  called  him 
alone,  Isa.  51.  2 [2.]  A spiritual  mercy;  a mercy 

to  his  soul,  a delrverance  from  sin,  and  its  fatal  con- 
sequences. If  God  save  our  souls,  we  shall  want 
nothing  that  is  good  for  us.  [3.]  A fresh  mercy; 
lately  bestowed,  and  therefore  should  the  mercy  be 
affecting;  as  that  in  the  preface  to  the  command- 
ments, I am  the  Lord  that  brought  thee  out  of 
F.gypt  XoLtcAy.  [4.]  A foundation  mercy;  thebe- 
ginning  of  mercy,  peculiar  mercy  to  Abram,  and 
therefore  a pledge  of  further  mercy,  Isa.  66.  9. 
Observe  how  Gcd  speaks  of  it  as  that  which  he 
gloried  in,  I am  the  Lord  that  brought  thee  out. 
He  glones  in  it  as  an  act  both  of  power  and  grace; 
compare  Isa.  29.  22,  where  he  glories  in  it,  long  af- 
ttrw  ird.  Thus  saith  the  Lord  who  redeemed 
Abram,  redeemed  him  from  sin. 

3.  What  he  intended  to  do  yet  further  for  him; 


“ I brought  thee  hither,  on  purpose  to  gwe  thee  this 
land  to  inherit  it,  not  only  to  possess  it,  but  to  pos- 
sess it  as  an  inheritance,  which  is  the  sweetest  and 
surest  titL.”  Note,  (1.)  The  providence  of  God 
has  secret  but  gracious  designs  in  all  its  various  dis- 
pensations tow..rd  gocd  people;  we  cannot  conceive 
the  prcjects  of  providence,  till  the  event  shows 
them  in  all  their  mercy  and  glory.  (2.)  I'he  great 
thing  God  designs  in  all  his  dealings  with  his  peo- 
ple, IS,  to  bring  them  safe  to  heaven.  They  are 
chosen  10  salvation,  (2 'Fhess.  2.  13.)  called  to  tin 
kingdom,  (1  T,  hess.  2.  12.)  begotten  to  the  inherit- 
ance, (1  Pet.  1.  3,  4.)  and  by  all  made  meet  for  it. 
Col.  1.  12,  13.  2 Cor.  4.  17. 

II.  Abram  desires  a sign,  r.  8,  Whereby  shall  J 
know  that  1 shall  inherit  it?  This  did  not  proceed 
from  distiaist  ot  God’s  power,  or  promise,  as  that  of 
.Ziecharias;  but  he  desired  this,  1.  For  the  strength 
ening  and  confirming  of  his  own  faith;  he  believed, 
(x'.  6.  ) but  here  he  prays.  Lord,  help  me  against  my 
unbeiu  f.  J\'‘o%v  he  believed,  but  he  desired  a sign 
to  be  treasured  up  against  an  hour  of  temptation, 
not  knowing  how  his  faith  might,  by  some  event  or 
othec,  be  shocked  and  tried.  Note,  "We  all  need, 
and  should  desire,  helps  from  heaven  for  the  con- 
firniing  ot  cur  faith,  and  should  improve  sacraments, 
which  are  instituted  signs  for  that  purpose.  See 
Judg.  6.  36.. 40.  2 Kings  20.  8..  10.  Isa.  7.  11,  12. 

2.  For  the  ratifying  of  the  promise  of  his  posterity, 
that  they  also  might  be  brought  to  believe  it.  Note, 
Those  that  are  satisfied  themselves,  should  desire 
that  others  also  might  be  satisfied,  of  the  ti-uth  of 
God’s  promises.  John  sent  his  disciples  to  Christ, 
not  so  much  for  his  own  satisfaction  as  for  their’s, 
Matt  11.  2.  3.  Canaan  was  a type  of  heaven. 
Note,  It  is  a very  desirable  thing  to  know  that  we 
shall  inherit  the  heavejily  Canaan,  that  is,  to  be  con- 
firmed in  our  belie!  of  the  timth  of  that  happiness, 
and  to  have  the  e\  idences  of  our  title  to  it  more  and 
more  cleared  up  to  us. 

III.  God  directs  Abram  to  make  preparations  for 
a sacrifice,  intending  by  that  to  gn  e him  a sign, 
and  Abram  makes  preparation  accordingly,  v. 
9..  11,  lake  me  an  heifer,  Cfc.  Perhaps  Abram 
expected  some  extraordinary  sign  from  heaven;  but 
God  gi\  es  him  a sign  upon  a’sacrifice.  Note,  Those 
that  would  receive  the  assurances  of  God’s  favour, 
pid  would  have  tlieir  faith  confirmed,  must  attend 
instituted  oi’dinances,  and  expect  to  meet  with  God 
in  them.  Observe,  1.  God  appointed  that  each  of  the 
beasts  used  for  this  sen  ice  should  be  three  years 
old,  because  then  they  were  at  their  full  growth  and 
strength.  God  must  be  served  with  the  best  we 
have,  for  he  is  the  best.  2.  We  do  not  read  that 
God  gave  Abram  particular  directions  how  to  ma- 
nage these  beasts  and  fowls,  knowing  that  he  was 
so  well  \ ersed  in  the  law  and  custom  of  sacrifices, 
that  he  needed  not  any  particular  directions;  or, 
perhaps,  instructions  were  given  him,  which  he 
carefully  observed,  though  they  are  not  recorded: 
at  least,  it  was  intimated  to  hiiii,  that  they  must  be 
prepared  for  the  solemnity  of  ratifying  a covenant; 
and  he  well  knew  the  manner  of  preparing  them. 

3.  Abrani  took  as  God  appointed  him,  though  as 
yet  he  knew  not  how  these  things  should  become  a 
sign  to  him.  This  was  not  the  first  instance  of 
Abram’s  implicit  obedience.  He  divided  the  beasts 
in  the  midst,  according  to  the  ceremony  used  in  con- 
firaiing  covenants,  (Jer.  34.  18,  19.)  where  it  is 
said.  They  cut  the  calf  in  twain  and  passed  between 
the  parts.  4.  Abram  having  prepared  according  to 
God’s  appointment,  now  set  liimself  to  wait  for ‘the 
sign  God  might  give  him  by  these,  like  the  prophet 
upon  his  watch-tower,  Hab.  2.  1.  ^^’hile  God’s 
appearing  to  own  his  sacrifice,  was  defen-ed,  Abram 
continued  waiting,  and  his  expectations  were  raised 
by  those  delays;  when  the  fowls  came  down  upon 


100 


GENESIS,  XV. 


the  carcases  to  prey  upon  them,  as  common  and  ne- 
glected things,  Abram  drove  them  away,  (x;.  11.) 
believing  that  the  vision  would,  at  the  end,  speak, 
and  not  lie.  Note,  A very  watchful  eye  must  be 
kept  upon  our  spiritual  sacrifices,  that  nothing  be 
suffered  to  prey  upon  them,  and  render  them  unfit 
for  God’s  acceptance.  When  vain  thoughts,  like 
these  fowls,  come  down  upon  our  sacrifices,  we 
must  dri\  e them  away,  and  not  suffer  them  to  lodge 
witliin  us,  but  attend  on  God  without  distraction. 

12.  And  when  tlie  sun  was  going  down, 
a deep  sleep  fell  upon  Abrani ; and,  lo,  an 
hon  or  of  great  darkness  fell  upon  him.  13. 
And  he  saitl  unto  Abrani,  Know  of  a sure- 
ty that  thy  seed  shall  be  a stranger  in  a land 
tJml  is  not  their’s,  and  shall  serve  them ; and 
they  shall  afflict  them  lour  hundred  years ; 
14.  And  also  that  nation  whom  they  shall 
serve,  will  I judge : and  afterward  shall 
they  come  out  with  great  substance.  15. 
And  thou  shalt  go  to  thy  fathers  in  peace  ; 
thou  shalt  be  buried  in  a good  old  age.  IG. 
But  in  the  fourth  generation  they  shall  come 
hither  again : for  the  iniquity  of  the  Amo- 
rites  IS  not  yet  full. 

We  have  here  a full  and  particular  discovery 
made  to  Abram  of  God’s  purposes  concerning  his 
seed.  Observe, 

I.  The  time  when  God  came  to  him  with  this  dis- 
covery; when  the  sun  was  going  down,  ov  declining, 
about  the  time  of  the  evening  oblation,  1 Kings  18. 
36.  Dan.  9.  21.  Early  in  the  morning,  before  day, 
while  the  stars  were  yet  to  be  seen,  God  had  given 
him  orders  concerning  the  sacrifices,  {v.  5.)  and  we 
may  suppose  it  was,  at  least  his  morning’s  work  to 
prei)are  them  and  set  them  in  order;  when  he  had 
done  this,  he  abode  by  them,  praying  and  waiting 
till  towards  evening.  Note,  God  often  keeps  his 
people  long  in  expectation  of  the  comforts  he  de- 
signs them,  for  the  confirmation  of  their  faith:  but 
though  the  answers  of  prayer,  and  the  performance 
of  promises,  come  slowly,  yet  they  come  surely;  at 
evening  time  it  shall  be  light. 

II.  The  preparatives  for  this  discovery;  1.  A deep 

sleep  fell  upon  Abram,  not  a common  sleep  through 
weariness  or  carelessness,  but  a di\  ine  ecstasy,  like 
that  which  the  Lord  God  caused  to  fall  upon  Adam, 
{ch.  2.  21.)  that  being  hereliy  wholly  taken  off  from 
the  view  of  things  sensible,  he  might  be  wholly 
taken  up  with  the  contemplation  of  things  spiritual. 
The  doors  of  the  body  were  locked  uj),  that  the  soul 
might  be  private  and  i-etired,  and  might  act  the 
mere  freely,  and  like  itself.  2.  With  this  sleep,  a 
horror  of  great  darkness  fell  upon  him;  a sudden 
change!  But  just  before,  we  had  him  solacing 
himself  in  the  comforts  of  God’s  covenant,  and  in 
communion  with  him : and  here  a horror  of  great 
darkness  falls  upon  him.  Note,  The  children  of 
light  do  not  always  walk  in  the  light,  but  snmetinies 
clouds  and  darkness  are  round  about  them.  This 
great  darkness,  which  brought  horror  with  it,  was 
designed,  (1.)  To  strike  an  awe  upon  the  spirit  of 
Abram,  and  to  ])ossess  him  with  a holy  reverence, 
that  the  familiarity  which  God  was  pleased  to  ad- 
mit him  to,  might  not  breed  contempt.  Note,  Holy 
f^ar  prepares  the  soul  for  holy  joy;  the  spirit  of 
1:  mdaTC  makes  way  for  the  spirit  of  adoption.  God 
■•■ounds  first,  and  then  heals;  humbles  first,  and 
then  lifts  up,  Isa.  6.  5,  6.  (2.)  To  be  a specimen 

of  the  methods  of  God’s  deidings  with  his  seed;  they 
must  first  be  in  the  horror  and  darkness  of  Egx'p- 
tian  slavery,  and  then  enter  with  joy  into  the  good 


land;  and  therefore  he  must  have  the  foretaste  of 
their  sufferings,  beibre  he  had  the  foresight  of  their 
happiness.  (3. ) To  be  an  indication  of  the  nature 
of  that  covenant  of  peculiarity  which  God  was  now 
about  to  make  with  Abram.  The  O.d  Testament 
dispensation,  which  was  founded  on  that  covenant, 
was  a dispensation,  [1.]  Of  darkness  and  obscurity, 
2 Cor.  3.  13.  [2.1  Of  dread  and  horror,  Heb.  12. 

18,  &c. 

III.  The  prediction  itself;  several  things  are  here 
foretold. 

1.  The  suffering  state  of  Abram’s  seed  f r a long 
time,  V.  13.  Letm  t Abram  flatter  himself  with  the 
hopes  of  nothing  but  honcur  and  jn'c  sperity  in  his 
family:  no,  he  must  know  cf  a sui  elv,  tliat  which  h« 
was  loath  to  believe,  that  the  pn  mised  seed  should 
be  a persecuted  seed.  Note,  (1.)  (ird  sends  the 
worst  first;  we  must  first  suffer  . iid  then  reign.  (2.) 
He  lets  us  knov/  the  worst  before  it  cc  mes,  that  when 
it  comes,  it  may  not  be  a surprise  to  us,  Jolm  16. 
4.  Now'  we  have  here,  [1.]  4'he  particulars 
sufferings.  First,  Thev  sha’l  lie  strangers;  so  they 
were,  first  in  Canaan,  Ps.  lOo.  12,  and  afterward  in 
Egypt:  before  they  were  lords  of  their  own  land, 
they  were  strangers  in  a strange  land.  The  incon- 
veniencies  of  an  unsettled  state,  make  a hapjiy  set- 
tlement the  more  welcome.  Thus  the  heirs  of  hea- 
ven are,  first,  strangers  on  earth,  a land  that  is  not 
their’s.  Secondly,  'riiev  shall  be  servants;  so  they 
were  to  the  Egyptians,  Exod.  1.  13.  See  how  that 
which  was  the  (loom  of  the  Canaanites,  ch.  9.  25, 
proves  the  distress  of  Abram’s  seed;  they  are  made 
to  serve,  but  with  this  difference,  the  Canaanites 
serve  under  a curs-e,  the  Hebrews  under  a blessing, 
and  the  upright  shall  have  dominion  in  the  moming, 
Ps.  49.  14.  Thirdly,  They  shall  be  sufferers. 
Those  whom  they  serve,  shall  afflict  them;  see 
Exod.  r.  11.  Note,  Those  that  are  blessed  and  be- 
loved of  God,  are  often  sorely  afflicted  by  wicked 
men;  and  Gocl  foresees  it,  and  takes  cognizance  of  it. 
[2.]  The  continuance  of  their  sufferings;  /bz/r  hun- 
dred years.  This  persecution  began  with  mocking, 
when  Ishmael,  the  son  of  an  Egyptian,  persecuted 
Isaac,  who  was  born  after  the  spirit,  ch.  21.  9.  Gal. 
4.  29.  \t  continued  m loathing;  {or  \t  an  abo- 
mination to  the  Egyptians  to  eat  bread  with  the  He- 
brews, ch.  43.  32,  and  it  came,  at  last,  to  murder, 
the  basest  of  murders,  that  of  their  new-born  child- 
ren; so  that  more  or  less,  it  continued  400  ye  rs, 
though  in  extremity,  not  so  many.  This  was  a long 
time,  Imt  a limited  time. 

2.  The  judgment  of  the  enemies  of  Abram’s  seed, 

V.  14,  That  nation  whom  they  shall  serve,  even  the 
Eg\’ptians,  will  I judge.  Th  s points  at  the  plagues 
of  Egypt,  by  which  God  not  only  constrained  the 
Eg\’ptians  to  release  Israel,  but  ])unished  them  for 
all  the  hardships  they  had  put  upon  them.  Note, 
(1.)  Though  God  may  suffer  persecutors  and  op- 
pressors t'O  trample  upon  his  people  a great  while, 
yet  he  will  certainlv  reckon  with  them  at  last ; for 
his  c/ay  is  coming,  Ps.  37.  12,  13.  (2.)  The  punish- 

ment of  persecutors  is  the  judgment  of  them;  it  is  a 
righteous  thing  with  God,  and  a particular  act  of 
justice,  to  recompense  tribulations  to  those  that 
trouble  his  people.  The  judging  of  the  church’s 
enemies,  is  Go(l’s  work,  /will  judge:  God  can  do 
it,  for  he  is  the  Lord;  he  will  do  it,  for  he  is  his  peo- 
ple’s God,  and  he  has  said,  Vengeance  is  mine,  I 
will  repay.  To  him  therefore  we  must  leave  it,  to 
be  done  in  his  way  and  time. 

3.  The  deliverance  of  Abram’s  seed  out  of  Egypt; 
that  great  event  is  here  foretold.  Afterward,  shall 
they  come  out  with  great  substance.  It  is  here  pro- 
mised, (].)  That  they  shall  be  enlarged;  aftemvard, 
they  shall  come  out,  that  is,  either,  after  they  have 
been  afflicted  400  years,  when  the  days  of  their  ser- 
vitude are  fulfilled,  then  they  may  expec*  'deliver. 


101 


GENESIS,  XV. 


ance;  or,  after  the  Egj'ptians  are  judged  and  pla- 
gued. Note,  The  destruction  of  oppressors  is  the 
redemption  of  the  oppressed;  they  will  not  let  God’s 
people  go,  till  they  are  forced  to  it.  (2.)  That  they 
should  be  enriched;  they  shall  come  out  with  great 
substance  this  was  fulfilled,  Exod.  12.  “IS,  36. 
(iod  took  care  they  should  have,  not  onl}'  a good 
land  to  go  to,  but  a good  stock  to  bring  with  them. 

4.  Their  happy  settlement  in  Canaan,  v.  16. 
'I'hey  shall  not  only  come  out  of  Egypt,  but  they 
nhall  come  hither  again,  hither  to  the  land  of  Ca- 
naan, wherein  thou  now  art.  The  discontinuance 
of  their  possession  shall  be  no  defeasance  of  their 
right;  we  must  not  reckon  those  comforts  lest  for 
ever,  that  are  intermitted  for  a time.  The  reason 
why  they  must  not  have  the  land  of  promise  in  pos- 
session till  the  fourth  generation,  is,  because  the  ini- 
quity of  the  Amorites  %vas  not  yet  full.  Isi’ael  cannot 
be  possessed  cf  C maun,  till  the  Amorites  be  dispos- 
sessed; and  they  are  not  yet  ripe  for  ruin.  The 
righteous  God  has  determined  that  they  shall  not 
be  cut  off,  till  they  have  persisted  in  sin  so  long,  and 
arrived  at  such  a pitch  of  wickedness,  that  there 
may  appear  some  equitable  proportion  between 
their  sin  and  their  rain;  and  therefore  till  it  come 
to  that,  the  seed  of  Abram  must  be  kept  out  of  pos- 
session. Note,  (1.)  The  measure  of  sin  fills  gradu- 
ally ; those  that  continue  impenitent  in  wicked  ways, 
are  treasuring  up  unto  themselves  wrath.  (2.) 

' Some  people’s  measure  of  sin  fills  slowly.  The  So- 
domites, who  were  sinners  before  the  Lord  exceed- 
ingly, soon  filled  their  measure;  so  did  the  Jews, 
who  were  in  profession  near  to  God;  but  the  iniqui- 
ty of  the  Amorites  was  long  in  the  filling  up.  (3.) 
That  this  is  the  reason  of  the  prosperity  of  wicked 
people;  the  measure  of  their  sins  is  not  yet  full. 
The  wicked  live,  become  old,  and  are  mighty  in 
p07ver,  while  God  is  laying  ufi  their  iniquity  for 
their  children.  Job  21.  7,  19.  See  Matt.  23.  32. 
Deut.  32.  34. 

5.  Abram’s  peaceful  quiet  death  and  burial,  before 

these  things  should  come  to  pass,  x>.  15.  As  he 
should  not  live  to  see  that  good  land  in  the  posses- 
sion of  his  family,  but  must  die  as  he  lived,  a stran- 
ger in  it;  so,  to  balance  that,  he  should  not  live  to 
see  the  troubles  that  should  come  upon  his  seed, 
much  less  to  share  in  them.  This  is  promised  to 
Josiah,  2 Kings  22.  23.  Note,  Good  men  are  some- 
times greatly  favoured  by  being  takenaway  from  the 
evil  to  come,  Isa.  57.  1.  Let  this  satisfy  Abram, 
that,  for  his  part,  (1.)  He  shall  go  to  his  fathers  in 
pence.  Note,  [1.]  Even  the  friends  and  favourites 
of  Hea\  cn  arc  not  exempt  from  the  stroke  of  death; 
Are  nve  greater  than  our  father  Abram  ’which  is 
dead?  John  8.  53.  [2.]  (iood  men  die  willingly; 

they  are  not  fetched,  they  are  not  forced,  but  they 
go;  their  soul  is  not  required,  as  his,  Luke  12.  20, 
but  cheerfully  resigned:  they  would  not  live  always. 
[3.]  At  death  we  go  to  our  fathers,  to  all  our  fa- 
thers that  are  gone  before  us  to  the  state  of  the 
dead.  Job  21.  32,  33,  to  our  godly  fathers  that  are 
gene  before  us  to  the  state  of  the  blessed,  Heb.  12. 
23.  The  former  thought  helps  to  take  off  the  terror 
of  death,  the  latter  puts  comfort  into  it.  [4.  ] When- 
ever a godlv  man  dies,  he  dies  in  peace.  If  the  way 
be  piety,  the  end  is  peace,  Ps.  37.  37.  Outw'ard 
peace,  to  the  last,  is  promised  to  Abram;  peace  and 
truth  in  his  davs,  whatever  should  come  after,  2 
Kings  20.  19.  Peace  with  God,  and  everlasting 
peace,  are  sure  to  all  the  seed.  (2.)  He  shall  be 
buried  in  a good  old  age.  Perhaps  mention  is  made 
of  his  burial  here,  where  the  land  of  Canaan  is  pro- 
mised him,  because  a burying  place  was  the  first 
possession  he  had  in  it.  He  shall  not  only  die  in 

{)cace,  but  die  in  honour,  die,  and  be  buried  dccenX.- 
y;  not  only  die  in  peace,  but  die  in  season.  Job  5.  25, 
26.  Ncte,  [1.  ] Old  age  is  a blessing;  it  is  promised 


in  the  fifth  commanament;  it  is  pleasing  to  nature; 
and  a great  opportunity  to  use^ilness;  [2.  ] Espe- 
cialN  if  it  be  a good  old  age:  their’s  may  be  called  a 
good  old  age,  First,  That  are  old  and  healthful,  not 
loaded  with  such  distempers  as  make  them  weary 
of  life;  Secondly,  That  are  old  and  holy,  old  disci- 
ples, Acts  21.  16,  whose  hoary  head  is  found  in  the 
ivay  of  righteousjiess,  Prov.  16.  31.  old  and  useful, 
old  and  exemplary  for  godliness;  their’s  is  indeed  a 
good  old  age. 

17.  And  it  came  to  pass  tliat  when  the  snn 
went  down,  and  it  was  dark,  behold,  a smok- 
ing furnace,  and  a burning  lamp  that  passed 
between  tliose  pieces.  1 8.  In  the  same  day, 
the  Lord  made  a covenant  with  Abram, 
saying.  Unto  thy  seed  have  I given  this  land, 
from  the  river  of  Egypt  unto  the  great  river, 
the  river  Euphrates : 19.  The  Kenites,  and 
the  Kennizzites,  and  the  Kadmonites,  20. 
And  the  Hittites,  and  the  Perizzites,  and  the 
Rephaims,  21.  And  the  Amorites,  and  the 
Canaanites,  and  the  Girgashites,  and  the 
Jebusites. 

Here  is, 

I.  The  covenant  ratified,  v.  17;  the  sign  which 
Abram  desired,  was  given  at  length,  when  the  sun 
was  gone  down,  so  that  it  was  dark;  for  that  was  a 
dark  dispensation. 

I.  The  smoking  furnace  signified  the  affliction  of 
his  seed  in  Egypt;  they  were  there  in  the  iron  fur- 
nace, Deut.  4.  20,  Xht.  furnace  of  affliction,  Isa.  48. 
10,  labouring  in  the- very  fire.  They  were  there  in 
the  smoke,  their  eyes  darkened,  that  they  could  not 
see  to  the  end  of  their  troubles,  and  they  at  a loss  to 
conceive  what  God  would  do  with  them;  clouds  and 
darkness  were  round  about  them. 

% The  burning  lamp  denotes  comfort  in  this  af- 
fliction: and  this  God  showed  Abram,  at  the  same 
time  that  he  showed  him  the  s?no  king  furnace.  (1.) 
Light  denotes  deliverance  out  of  the  furnace;  their 
salvation  was  as  a /a  w/i  that  burneth,\%^.62.1.  When 
God  came  down  to  deliver  them,  he  appeared  in  a 
bush  that  burned,  and  was  not  consumed,  Exod.  3. 

2.  12.)  The  lamp  denotes  direction  in  the  smoke; 

God^s  word  was  their  lamp;  this  word  to  Abram  was 
so,  it  was  a light  shining  in  a dark  place;  perhaps 
this  burning  lamp  prefigured  the  pillar  of  cloud  and 
fire,  which  led  them  out  of  Egypt,  in  which  God 
was.  (3.)  The  burning  lamp  denotes  the  destruc- 
tion of  their  enemies  who  l^t  them  so  long  in  the 
furnace:  see  Zech.  12.  6.  The  same  cloud  that  en- 
lightened the  Israelites,  troubled  and  burned  the 
Egyptians. 

3.  I'he  passing  of  these  bet’ween  the  pieces,  was 
the  confirming  of  the  covenant  God  now  made  with 
him,  fhat  he  might  have  strong  consolation,  being 
fully  persuaded  that  what  God  promised,  he  would 
certainly  perform.  It  is  probable  that  this  fumace 
and  lamp,  which  passed  between  the  pieces,  bumed 
and  consumed  them,  and  so  completed  the  sacrifice, 
and  testified  God’s  acceptance  of  it,  as  of  Gideon’s, 
Judg.  6.  21.  Mnnoah’s,  Judg.  13.  19,  20.  and  Solo- 
mon’s, 2Chrcn.  7.  1.  soitintimates,  (1.)  That  God’s 
covenants  with  man  are  made  by  sacrifice,  Ps.  50.  5; 
by  Christ,  the  great  Sacrifice:  no  agreement  without 
atonement.  (2. ) God’s  acceptance  of  our  spiritual 
sacrifices,  is  a token  for  good,  and  an  earnest  of  fur- 
ther favours:  see  Judg.  13.  23.  And  bv  this  we  may 
know  that  he  accepts  cur  sacrifices,  if  he  kindle  in 
our  souls  a holy  fire  of  pious  and  devout  affections 
in  them. 

II.  The  covenant  repealed  and  explained,  v.  18, 
In  that  same  day,  that  day  never  to  be  forgotten. 


GENESIS,  XVI. 


the  Lord  made  a covenant  with  Abram,  that  is, 
gave  a promise  to  Abram,  saying.  Unto  thy  seed 
nave  I given  this  land.  Here  is,  1.  A rehearsal  of 
the  grant:  he  had  said  before,  To  thy  seed  will  I give 
this  land,  ch.  12.  7.— 13.  15.  But  here  he  says,  I 
have  given  it;  that  is,  (1.)  I have  given  the  promise 
of  it,  the  charter  is  sealed  and  delivered,  and  can- 
not be  disannulled.  Note,  God’s  promises  are  God’s 
gifts,  and  are  so  to  be  accounted  of.  (2.)  The  pcs- 
sessioii  is  as  sure,  in  due  time,  as  if  it  were  now  ac- 
tually delivered  to  them : what  God  has  promised, 
is  as  sure  as  if  it  were  already  done;  hence  it  is  said, 
He  that  believes  hath  everlasting  life,  John  3.  36,  for 
he  shall  as  surely  go  to  heaven  as  if  he  were  there 
already.  2.  A recital  of  the  particulars  granted, 
such  as  is  usual  in  the  grants  of  land.  He  specifies 
the  boundaries  of  the  land  intended  hereby  to  be 
granted,  x*.  18.  And  then,  for  the  greater  certainty , 
as  is  usual  in  such  cases,  he  mentions  in  whose  ten- 
ure and  occupation  these  lands  now  were.  Then 
several  nations  or  tribes,  are  here  spoken  of,  v. 
19.  . 21.  that  must  be  cast  out,  to  make  room  for 
the  seed  of  Abram.  They  were  not  possessed  of  all 
these  countries,  when  God  brought  them  into  Ca- 
naan. The  bounds  are  fixed  much  narrower,  Num. 
34.  2,  3,  &c.  But,  (1.)  In  David’s  time  and  Solo- 
mon’s, their  jurisdiction  extended  to  the  utmost  of 
these  limits,  2 Chron.  9.  26.  (2. ) It  was  their  own 

fault  that  they  were  not  sooner  and  longer  in  pos- 
session of  all  these  territories.  They  forfeited  their 
right  by  their  sins,  and  by  their  own  sloth  and  cow- 
ardice kept  themselves  out  of  possession.  3.  I'he 
land  granted,  is  here  described  in  its  utmost  extent, 
because  it  was  to  be  a type  of  the  heavenly  inherit- 
ance, where  there  isToom  enough:  in  our  Father’s 
house  are  many  mansions.  I'he  present  occupants 
are  named,  because  their  number  and  strength,  and 
long  prescription,  should  be  no  hindrance  to  the  ac- 
complishment of  this  promise  in  its  season,  and  to 
magnify  God’s  love  to  Abram  and  his  seed,  in  giv- 
ing to  that  one  nation  the  possession  of  many  nations: 
so  precious  were  they  in  his  sight,  and  so  honoura- 
ble, Isa.  43.  4. 

CHAR  XVI. 

Hag  ar  is  the  person  mostly  concerned  in  the  story  of  this 
chapter,  an  obscure  Egyptian  woman,  whose  name  and 
story  we  had  never  heard  of,  if  Providence  had  not 
brought  her  into  the  family  of  Abram.  Probably,  she 
was  one  of  those  maid-servants,  which  the  king  of  Egypt, 
among  other  gifts,  bestowed  upon  Abram,  ch.  12,16.  Con- 
cerning her,  we  have  four  things  in  this  chapter;  1.  Her 
marriage  to  Abram  her  master,  v.  1.  . 3.  II.  Her  misbe- 
haviour toward  Sarai,  her  mistress,  v.  4,  6.  III.  Her  dis- 
course with  an  angel  that  met  her  in  her  flight,  v.  7,  .14. 
IV.  Her  deliverance  of  a son,  v.  15,  16. 

l.lk^OW  Sarai,  Abram’s  wife,  bare  him 
1-^  no  children : and  she  had  an  hand- 
maid, an  Ep:yptian,  whose  name  tons  Hagar. 
2.  And  Sarai  said  unto  Abram,  Behold  now, 
the  Lord  hath  restrained  me  from  bearing : 
1 pray  thee,  go  in  unto  my  maid  ; it  may  be 
that  I may  obtain  children  by  her.  And 
Abram  hearkened  to  the  voice  of  Sarai.  .3. 
And  Sarai  Abram’s  wife  took  Hagar  her 
maid  the  Egyptian,  after  Abram  had  dwelt 
ten  years  in  the  land  of  Canaan,  and  ga\  e 
her  to  her  husband  Abram  to  be  his  vt  ife. 

We  have  here  the  m irriage  of  Abram  to  Plagar, 
who  was  his  second  iry  wife;  herein,  though  some 
excuse  may  be  mude  for  him,  he  cannot  be  justified; 
for  from  the  beginning  it  was  not  so;  and  when  it 
was  so,  it  seems  to  have  proceeded  from  an  irregu- 
lar desire  to  build  up  their  f imilies  for  the  speedier 
peopling  of  the  woild  and  the  church:  it  must  not  be 


so  now.  Christ  has  reduced  this  matter  to  the  first 
institution,  and  makes  the  mai’riage  union  to  be  be- 
tween one  man  and  one  woman  only. 

Now, 

1.  The  maker  of  this  match  (would  one  think  it.^) 

! was  Sarai  herself:  she  said  to  Abram,  I pray  thee 

go  in  unto  my  maid,  v.  2.  Note,  1.  It  is  the  policy 
of  Satan  to  tempt  us  by  our  nearest  and  dearest  re- 
lations, or  those  friends  that  we  have  an  opinion  of 
and  an  affection  for.  The  temptation  is  most  dan- 
j gerous,  when  it  is  sent  by  a hand  that  is  least  ex- 
1 pected:  it  is  our  wisdom  therefore  to  consider,  not 
I so  much  who  speaks,  as  what  is  spoken.  2.  God’s 
I commands  consult  our  comfort  and  honour,  much 
j better  than  cur  own  contrivances  do.  It  had  been 
much  more  for  Sarai’s  interest,  that  Abram  should 
have  kept  to  the  rule  of  God’s  law,  than  that  he 
I should  have  been  guided  by  her  foolish  projects;  but 
i we  often  do  ill  for  ourselves. 

I II.  The  inducement  to  it  was  Sarai’s  barrenness. 

; 1.  Sarai  bare  Abram  no  children;  she  was  xicrv 

' fair,  ch.  12.  14;  she  was